Posts tagged Egypt
Posts tagged Egypt
Mourners attend a commemoration ceremony and march for a protester killed during clashes with Egyptian security forces the previous night, at the Al Noor Mosque on February 2, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. 23-year old protester Mohammed Hussein Korani was killed after sustaining gunshot wounds to the neck and chest during fighting with riot police outside Egypt’s Presidential Palace in Cairo late on the night of February 1. Protests continued across Egypt nearly one week after the second anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution that overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak on January 25, 2011.
[Credit : Ed Giles/Getty Images]
Twenty-four months have passed since the start of the uprising that led to the overthrow of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. In that time, much has changed, but many of the most vocal revolutionaries are not yet satisfied. President Mohamed Morsi, who assumed office last summer, has frustrated the opposition within the new government. Morsi has sought to expand his powers by decree and has been accused of heavily favoring the wishes of his own political party, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is promoting a new Islamist constitution for Egypt. In the midst of all this, many of the same activists who set things in motion in 2011 took to the streets again this past weekend, feeling that their voices had been drowned out once again. At least 50 are now reported to have been killed in clashes between demonstrators and government (and pro-government) groups, and a state of emergency has been declared in three provinces.
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BREAKING: Egyptian president annuls decree expanding powers
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has annulled the controversial constitutional decree he issued in November expanding his powers.
The decision came after a Saturday meeting between Morsi and other political leaders. The decree and a referendum on the draft constitution sparked mass protests throughout Egypt in the past two weeks. The referendum on the draft constitution will continue as planned on December 15. Read more from AFP.Photo: Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi speaks to supporters in front of the presidential palace in Cairo November 23, 2012. (Handout / Reuters)
Egypt’s Republican Guard restored an uneasy calm to the area around the presidential palace in Cairo on Thursday after fierce clashes in which seven people were killed, as the political crisis worsened over Mohamed Morsi’s decrees extending his power.
The president, criticised for his silence in the past few days, addressed the nation, accusing some of the opposition protesters of serving remnants of the old regime and vowing never to tolerate anyone working for the overthrow of his “legitimate” government.
A tank at the presidential palace in Cairo on Thursday. Several aides to president Mohamed Morsi have resigned as clashed between his Islamist supporters and secularists — who claim that Morsi is trying to establish a dictatorship — intensified; at least six Egyptians have died, with more than 400 wounded. (Photo: Tara Todras-Whitehill / The New York Times; caption via The Times)
Overnight clashes in Cairo between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Mohamed Morsi and opposition activists have left at least five people dead, according to state television.
As the country further descended into political turmoil over the constitution drafted by Morsi’s allies, street battles outside the presidential palace were the most violent since Egypt’s latest crisis erupted on 22 November, when Morsi assumed near unrestricted powers
It was also the first time supporters of rival camps had fought each other since last year’s uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
Morsi is due to make a televised address later on Thursday. Tanks have been deployed outside the presidential palace, a move which the commander of the Republican Guard said was intended to keep the two sides apart – not to repress the president’s opponents.
The fighting erupted late on Wednesday afternoon when thousands of Morsi’s Islamist supporters descended on an area near the presidential palace where about 300 of his opponents were staging a sit-in. The Islamists, members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, chased the protesters away from their base outside the palace’s main gate and tore down their tents.
Mohamed ElBaradei, a leading opposition advocate of reform, accused Morsi’s supporters of a “vicious and deliberate” attack against peaceful demonstrators.
FLASH: Three members of Egyptian President Mursi’s advisory council quit over crisis: presidential sources | Live updates
Egypt judges refuse to oversee Morsi referendum
Judges in Egypt have refused to oversee a vote on the country’s new draft constitution, to be held in two weeks.
The Judges’ Club’s decision follows a confrontation between Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court and Islamist supporters of President Mohammed Morsi.
The court said it was suspending its work after its members were prevented from ruling on the legitimacy of the body that drew up the constitution.
Opposition groups called for protests against the referendum on Tuesday.
They said Mr Morsi had broken a promise not to call a referendum without gaining a wide national consensus.
“The National Salvation Front condemns the irresponsible act by the president of the republic in calling a referendum on an illegitimate constitution that is rejected by a large section of his people,” an alliance of opposition groups said in a statement.
The opposition believes that the draft constitution undermines basic freedoms.
The latest developments heighten the tensions between President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood supporters on one side, and his mainly secular political opponents and the judiciary on the other.
Pictured: The opposition says Mr Mursi has failed to seek a wide consensus on the constitution
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi’s decree exempting all his decisions from legal challenge until a new parliament was elected caused fury amongst his opponents on Friday who accused him of being the new Hosni Mubarak and hijacking the revolution.
Thousands of chanting protesters packed Tahrir Square, the heart of the 2011 anti-Mubarak uprising, demanding Mursi quit and accusing him of launching a “coup”. There were violent protests in Alexandria, Port Said and Suez.
Mursi’s aides said the presidential decree was to speed up a protracted transition that has been hindered by legal obstacles but Mursi’s rivals were quick to condemn him as a new autocratic pharaoh who wanted to impose his Islamist vision on Egypt.
Egypt announced on Wednesday that a ceasefire had been reached to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, starting later in the day.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr made the announcement in a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The ceasefire would come into effect at 15:00 EDT, said Amr, whose country has been at the heart of efforts to broker an end to the conflict.
“Egypt has made great efforts … since the start of the latest escalation in the Gaza Strip,” Amr said.
“These efforts and contacts have resulted in understandings to cease fire and restore calm and halt the bloodshed that the last period has seen,” he added.
“Egypt calls on all to monitor the implementation of what has been agreed under Egypt’s sponsorship and to guarantee the commitment of all the parties to what has been agreed,” he said.
An Egyptian protester carries a tattered national flag during clashes with security forces in the vicinity of the Ministry of Police in Cairo, Egypt, early Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. Clashes between protesters and Egyptian security forces intensified after nightfall Monday, marking the anniversary of a bloody confrontation in Cairo, when 42 people were killed in a street battle months after the uprising that ousted the country’s longtime president.
[Credit : Mohammed Abu Zaid/AP]
Egyptian forces fight gunmen at a police station in northern Sinai town of al-Arish
Egyptian police have fought gunmen in the main northern Sinai town of al-Arish a day after security forces began a crackdown on Islamist militants in the region.
“Clashes resumed between armed men and police forces in front of police station number two in al-Arish,” Nile News television reported.
It did not identify the gunmen. No further details were available and security officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
A Reuters correspondent in al-Arish said the town was now calm after the reported clashes.
The army’s security sweep follows an attack on Sunday in which gunmen killed 16 Egyptian border guards before storming through an Israeli border crossing.
Egyptian aircraft struck suspected militant targets near the border and troops raided villages on Wednesday.
The Egyptian army brought extra troops, tanks and other armoured vehicles into al-Arish on Thursday to expand the security operation, a security source said.
Pictured: Palestinian youths light candles in the West Bank city of Ramallah in memory of the 16 Egyptian soldiers killed in Sunday’s ambush of their checkpoint on the Sinai peninsula. Photograph: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images
Egypt’s Prime Minister-designate, Hisham Qandil, has begun selecting ministers to serve in his cabinet.
State TV said the finance and foreign affairs ministers would be retained, but that Maj-Gen Ahmed Jamal al-Din would become the new interior minister.
The new cabinet will be officially announced and sworn in on Thursday.
President Mohammed Mursi has been criticised for the time he has taken to name a prime minister and form a government since taking office in June.
His nomination of Mr Qandil, the outgoing water resources minister, surprised many observers, who had been expecting a well-known figure.
Mr Qandil said last week that he wanted a technocratic government and stressed that “competence” would be the sole criterion for appointments.
He said he wanted “all political forces and the people of Egypt to support us in this difficult mission”, highlighting economic and social challenges.
On Wednesday, state media reported that the prime minister-designate had told Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamal Amr and Finance Minister Mumtaz al-Said that they would keep their posts.
Gen Jamal al-Din, the current assistant interior minister for security, was meanwhile asked to be interior minister, it added.
“Given the circumstances that have been taking place in the country the coming period will need us all - the government and the people - to work together to maintain stability,” the general told reporters in Cairo.
Officials also said Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf), would be defence minister, in line with an interim constitutional declaration issued after June’s presidential election run-off.
Pictured: Hisham Qandil’s appointment as prime minister by President Mohammed Mursi surprised observers
Mohamed Morsi has been sworn in by Egypt’s highest court as the country’s first freely elected president, succeeding Hosni Mubarak who was toppled 16 months ago.
He took the oath on Saturday before the Supreme Constitutional Court in their courthouse near the Nile River built to resemble an ancient Egyptian temple.
Morsi became Egypt’s fifth head of state since the overthrow of the monarchy some 60 years ago
Egypt’s Morsi defies military in fiery speech
Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian president-elect, took a symbolic oath of office during a rousing speech in Cairo, promising dignity and social justice to a crowd of tens of thousands gathered in Tahrir Square.
He swore to uphold the constitution and “the republican system”, reciting the words of an oath which he will formally take on Saturday morning in front of the supreme constitutional court. “I will look after the interests of the people and protect the independent of the nation and the safety of its territory,” he said.
Morsi opened his speech by addressing himself to “the Muslims and Christians of Egypt,” and promised to preserve a civil state.
“We will complete the journey in a civil state, a nationalist state, a constitutional state, a modern state,” he told the crowd, to applause and cheers.
Morsi, a former Muslim Brotherhood official, promised to end torture and discrimination, and to deliver social justice for millions of Egyptians.
He also issued several challenges to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Egypt’s military rulers.
He insisted that “no institution will be above the people,” critiquing an army which has sought to shield itself from parliamentary oversight. ”You are the source of authority,” he told the crowd.
Morsi also vowed to work for the release of civilians arrested by the army since the revolution; more than 12,000 people have been tried by military tribunals since February 2011, according to local human rights groups.
‘I don’t fear anyone but God’
The symbolic oath was a way for Morsi to defuse a lingering political problem. The president traditionally takes the oath of office before parliament, but the legislature was dissolved earlier this month by a high court ruling.
In response, the ruling SCAF shifted the venue to the court, but Morsi was reluctant to take the oath there, for fear of appearing to support the court’s ruling.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party had the largest share of seats in parliament, and has vowed to fight its dissolution.
Much of his speech took a populist tone. He spoke for several minutes from behind a lectern, then stepped away to address the crowd more directly.
At one point, he lifted up his suit jacket to show he was not wearing body armour. ”I don’t fear my people,” he said. “I don’t fear anyone but God.”
He also spoke briefly about Egypt’s foreign relations, promising to improve relations with neighbours in Africa and the Middle East, and to “keep the peace”.
“We will never give up the rights of Egyptians abroad,” he said. “Respecting the will of the people is the basis of our foreign relations.”
The president-elect tried to reassure several groups worried about what a Muslim Brotherhood presidency means for Egypt. He made several mentions of “artists and intellectuals,” promising to make Egypt a cultural and artistic leader.
On the other hand, in a remark sure to worry Western leaders, Morsi also promised to work to free Omar Abdel Rahman, the Egyptian cleric currently serving a life sentence in the United States for planning the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. His pledge was most likely a sop to the salafi groups which have made Abdel Rahman’s release a prominent issue.
Pictured: Morsi promised to preserve a civil state, and to work to free civilians detained by the military since the revolution [EPA]