Large protests have broken out in several Egyptian cities calling for President Mubarak to step down after 30 years of power.
Egypt – 30 / 01 / 2011 — The military has been mobilised after large protests taking place in Egypt’s capitol, Cairo. The people of Egypt have called for the removal of President Mubarak who has been in power as President of Egypt since 1981. (30 years) Since his regime has been in p0wer he has had 5 assassination attempts against his life. The regime also came friendly with the West when Egypt joined in the 1991 first Gulf War, where Western countries and also middle eastern countries wiped out debt worth up to $20 billion ($USD).
Corruption and possible election fraud
The regime has come under fire on the topics of corruption and election fraud. In 2005 Ayman Nour a candidate for elections held in this year contested the results and called for a re-election. It was widely believed that Mr. Mubarak had used government vehicles and government officials to help himself get votes while also registering votes from people who were not registered to vote. Mr. Nour was subsequently sentenced to 5 years of hard labour with the United States White House press secretary giving a statement “The United States is deeply troubled by the conviction today of Egyptian politician Ayman Nour by an Egyptian court.” – It went further to criticise and question Egypt’s democracy as a whole. Corruption was also reported in several Egyptian ministries to where by Transparency International (TI) reported that based on political belief people were being sent to prison without trial. Transparency Internationals index also scored Egypt at a CPI of 3.1 with 0 being the worst level of corruption.
Mobilisation of heavily armoured vehicles
In reports around the world and specifically Al Jazeera, we have learned that the military has been mobilised to deal with the large protests calling for the removal of Mr. Mubarak. Dozens of heavily armoured tanks were mobilised in Cairo, of which appeared to be Egypt’s Ramses II Main Battle Tank (MBT). Though according to reports by the BBC it is said that these tanks were blocked by protesters and apparently the tank unit commander came out of tank and stated that he was with the protesters however they did not let the tanks move any further into the city.
The US has stated its position on the issue stating that it do not want to see any violence by Egyptian security forces. Mr. Mubarak is believed to be trying to show his people that he still has power by what is called in a military expression, a show of force. He has done this by having F-16 fighter jets and other aircraft fly over crowds at low altitude and has sent in heavy military equipment and armoured vehicles to try and deal with the protests.
How it all started
It comes at a time where Tunisia has had similar protests where for 21 years a regime in Tunisia has ruled only to be ousted by large protests. Along with similar occurrences such as security forces being on the side of the people protesting which happened only 2 weeks ago. This has followed up with the people of Egypt also uprising and trying to oust the current government. It is believed that the protests were ignited by the increasing food price and high unemployment which increased the factors of a protest erupting as growing tensions due to corruption and possible election rigging in previous elections.
World leaders and foreign secretaries around the world have commented on this issue with countries mostly saying they are keeping their eyes on the situation as it unfolds. But what happens next?
We don’t really know what will happen next. For sure these protests have caused a world reaction after similar protests managed to break a 21 year regime in Tunisia. The people of Egypt want Mr. Mubarak to step down as leader and possibly allow a unity government to take power and then to call fair elections. Whether this happens or not is another question. Mr. Mubarak a former air force officer has called in the army to help secure his political struggle in the country after 30 years. World media can be quoted in saying that Mubarak has shown to be defiant for calls for him to step down and leave the country in exile. We can only really watch as events take place to know what exactly will happen next.
Situation update [06/02/2011]
President Obama (US) has got involved in the Egyptian crises taking place. He has stated that President Mubarak “has to go” while after coming back from a telephone call to the Egyptian President in-question. He states he supports democratic reform in Egypt.
Mubarak steps down [11/02/2011]
According to live reports from the BBC, President Mubarak has stepped down as leader of Egypt. After the protests which have lasted 18 days constant pressure has been placed on the regime which has now led to a removal of its leader. Vice-President Omar Suleiman announced his resignation. He also announced that the military were taking control of most of the presidential powers which brings into question how Egypt will make further progress under military rule. It is not clear where Mr. Mubarak is however it is reported that he has been flown to Sharm el-Sheikh, which is on the coast of the Red Sea, where according to reports he has a house there.
Control handed to military [12/02/2011-onward]
The military council has announced that it would go a head with the transition to a peaceful and just democratic vote for the next countries leader. It has assumed control of government tasks and has asked all provinces and small town governments to carry work on as usual.