Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Egypt In Crisis!!!

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The 2011 Egyptian protests are an ongoing series of street demonstrations, marches, rallies, acts of civil disobedience, riots, and violent clashes that began in Egypt on 25 January 2011, a day selected to coincide with the National Police Day holiday.[11] The protests began with tens of thousands marching in Cairo and a string of other cities in Egypt.[12] While localised protests had been common in previous years, the 2011 protests have been the largest demonstrations seen in Egypt since the 1977 Bread Riots and unprecedented in scope,[13] drawing participants from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and faiths.[14]
The demonstrations and riots, part of the 2010–2011 Arab world protests, started in the weeks after the Tunisian Revolution, with many protesters carrying Tunisian flags as a symbol of their influence.[15] Grievances for Egyptian protesters have focused on legal and political issues[16] including police brutality,[11] state of emergency laws,[11] lack of free elections and free speech,[17] and corruption,[17] as well as economic issues including high unemployment,[18] food price inflation,[18] and low minimum wages.[11][18] The primary demand from protest organisers is the ouster of the Hosni Mubarak regime, and a new government that represents the interests of the Egyptian people, and respects rights of freedom and justice.[19]
As of 29 January, at least 105 deaths had been reported, and those injured number 750 policemen and 1,500 protesters.[2][3] The capital city of Cairo has been described as "a war zone,"[20] and the port city of Suez has been the scene of frequent violent clashes. The government imposed a curfew that protesters defied and that the police and military did not enforce. The presence of Egypt's Central Security Forces police, loyal to Mubarak, has been gradually replaced by largely restrained military troops. In the absence of police, there has been looting, and in response civilians have self-organized watch groups to protect key sites.[21][22][23][24][25]
International response to the protests has been mixed, though most have called for some sort of peaceful protests on both sides and moves toward reform. Mostly Western governments also expressed concern for the situation. Many governments have issued travel advisories and begun making attempts at evacuating their citizens from the country.
Mubarak dissolved his government and appointed military figure and former head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate Omar Suleiman as Vice-President in an attempt to quell dissent. Mubarak asked aviation minister and former chief of Egypt's Air Force, Ahmed Shafik, to form a new government. Opposition to the Mubarak regime has coalesced around Mohamed ElBaradei, with all major opposition groups supporting his role as a negotiator for some form of transitional unity government.[26] In response to mounting pressure Mubarak announced he would not seek re-election in September.[27]