h1

Thank you for keeping the hope alive

February 12, 2011

Thank you, thank you to the Egyptian demonstrators for keeping the hope alive. The hope that we can break the iron grip of the ruling elites and install a government that cares for the people and not only for the big corporations and the super rich.

This is an important step, it is an important victory but it doesn’t guarantee that the dream of a just society without repression and without exploitation will come true. It is an important victory in a battle against selfishness, hubris and greed, but it is a victory in a war that will never end.

At 6:00 p.m. local time in Cairo Vice President Omar Suleiman announced in a 30 second long statement, that President Hosni Mubarak, due to the “difficult situation” in the country, was leaving office. Power would initially be transferred to the Egyptian army.

Hossam Badrawi, the recently appointed general secretary of the NDP, resigned and issued this statement: “It is a resignation from the position and from the party. The formation of new parties in a new manner that reflects new thinking is better for society now at this stage.”

Anti-government protesters have laid siege to the state television headquarters, surrounding army barricades and blocking access to the building. The army has given up for now and is letting the protesters control the flow of people around the state television building. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/11/egypt-protests-state-tv-building

The protester have also surrounded the presidential palaces in Cairo and Alexandria. Mubarak is either in his palace in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh or already on the way out. It will be interesting to see what becomes of his fortune, estimated to be between 40 and 70 billion US$. The Swiss government has frozen his assets.

Egypt’s military says it will not act as a substitute for a “legitimate” government and the armed forces would later announce measures and arrangements to introduce the changes Egyptians want.

The military is divided. There are several reports of soldiers fraternizing with the protesters. An army officer joining protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square said, that 15 other middle-ranking officers had also gone over to the demonstrators. “The armed forces’ solidarity movement with the people has begun,” Major Ahmed Ali Shouman told Reuters.

But there are also reports that the Egyptian military has secretly detained hundreds and possibly thousands of government opponents since mass protests began, and at least some of these detainees have been tortured. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/09/egypt-army-detentions-torture-accused

Turkish prime minister Erdogan issued a statement:
We hope the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will adopt a commonsense approach and under this new administration organize free and fair elections. It should hand over power in as short a time frame as possible. Since the beginning of the mass protests in Egypt, Turkey has supported the legitimate demands of our brother Egyptians for democracy and freedom. The country should now move peacefully towards a new order that is pluralist, representative, and upholds human rights.

We will keep watching breathlessly.

Update:
The top figure in Egypt’s new regime is now Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the country’s defense minister (he is called by some officers “Mubarak’s poodle”). In its third communiqué to the nation since Thursday, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it was examining the situation “in order to materialize the aspirations of our great nation”. In the fourth communiqué broadcast live on state television on Saturday, the country’s new military rulers promised to hand power to an elected, civilian government. They also pledged that Egypt would remain committed to all international treaties — an apparent nod to its 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

Soldiers have moved into Tahrir Square in an attempt to remove protesters. There were some scuffles as troops tried to get protesters to leave the suare.

Military has been firing into the air to disperse a protest in front of the interior ministry.

The cabinet, appointed when Hosni Mubarak was still in office, will not undergo a major reshuffle and will stay to oversee a political transformation in the coming months, the cabinet spokesman says. Anas El Feki, the minister of Media, has resigned.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/egypt-army-clears-protesters-from-tahrir-square-2213474.html

According to various reports Mubarak has used the last weeks to hide his fortune away.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8320912/Egypt-Hosni-Mubarak-used-last-18-days-in-power-to-secure-his-fortune.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/world/middleeast/13wealth.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha22

2 comments

  1. …..By now it has become increasingly clear that the future of Egypts stability political reforms and progress rest almost entirely in the hands of its military. Unlike other militaries in Arab states Egypts military is one of the most respected institutions that have earned the admiration and respect of the people.


  2. Posted on 02 01 2011 23 49 53Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak made a final desperate play Tuesday to hang onto power for another eight months telling the epic crowds of protesters massing in Cairo that he wont stand in Septembers elections. Posted on 01 31 2011 18 11 20The Egyptian military announced Monday that it would not stop the protesters massing across the country – a potentially fatal blow to President Hosni Mubaraks desperate effort to cling to power.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: