Posts tagged ‘Egyptian Armed Forces’

2011/02/26

In Egypt, Army Starts To Get Tougher


A rally that brought over 100,000 demonstrators to Egypt’s Tahrir Square was dispersed this morning by Egyptian soldiers firing in the air and using batons and tasers against demonstrators who were demanding that the Hosni Mubarak cabinet be purged by the country’s new military leaders.

Egyptians had gathered in Tahrir Square to celebrate the two week mark since Mubarak’s removal and to remind the military rulers now in charge of its commitments to the people at the time of Mubarak’s ouster.

One of the commitments was to install a team of technocrats to replace the Mubarak-appointed cabinet. Activists are using the demonstrations to guard against “counter-revolution” of the people’s power.

But after midnight, demonstrators said the military fired in the air, shut off the light from lamp posts, and moved in on protesters to force them to leave the square, in an unusual use of military force against protesters since Mubarak’s fall.

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2011/02/18

Egypt Military May Block Free Economy

The Egyptian military defends the country, but it also runs day care centers and beach resorts. Its divisions make television sets, jeeps, washing machines, wooden furniture and olive oil, as well as bottled water under a brand reportedly named after a general’s daughter, Safi.

From this vast web of businesses, the military pays no taxes, employs conscripted labor, buys public land on favorable terms and discloses nothing to Parliament or the public.

Since the ouster last week of President Hosni Mubarak, of course, the military also runs the government. And some scholars, economists and business groups say it has already begun taking steps to protect the privileges of its gated economy, discouraging changes that some argue are crucial if Egypt is to emerge as a more stable, prosperous country.

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2011/02/18

Egypt’s Missing Raise Doubts About Army

Ramadan Aboul Hassan left his house one night about three weeks ago to join a neighborhood watch group with two friends and did not return. The next time their relatives saw the three men they were emerging Wednesday night from a maximum security prison, 400 miles from home, run by Egypt’s military. Some family members said they bore signs of torture, though others denied it.

While many here have cheered the military for taking over after last week’s ouster of President Hosni Mubarak and for pledging to oversee a transition to democracy, human rights groups say that in the past three weeks the military has also played a documented role in dozens of disappearances and at least 12 cases of torture — trademark practices of the Mubarak government’s notorious security police that most here hoped would end with his exit.

Some, like Mr. Aboul Hassan and his two friends, were not released until several days after the revolution removed Mr. Mubarak.

Now human rights groups say the military’s continuing role in such abuses raises new questions about its ability to midwife Egyptian democracy.

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2011/02/15

Leaders Are Gone, But Regimes Are Not


The Presidents Left, the Regimes are Still Here
by Marina Ottaway, Carnegie Middle East Center

The removal from power of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were historic moments for the entire Arab world. But the old regimes—the submerged icebergs of personal connections, institutions, and common interests of which the presidents and their immediate entourage were the visible tips—are still there and they are fighting back to retain as much power and control as they can. These are still only the early days of a long process of transition, but it is clear that the battle to disband the regimes will be difficult. In this battle, street protest remains essential.

Early moves by the members of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces suggest that it intends to preserve as much of the regime as it possibly can. It has announced that the present government, composed entirely of Mubarak appointees, will remain in power until the end of a transition period lasting a maximum of six months. It has dissolved the parliament and abrogated the constitution, measures demanded by the opposition because last year’s parliamentary elections were rigged to the point of absurdity and the constitution was designed to protect the regime from real competition and perpetuate its power.

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2011/02/14

Why Can’t Israel Support People In Egypt?


[Ed. Note: Looking at the world as it once was, as it is today and how it could be tomorrow, one of the most vexing questions I have is “How can Israel be so blind to what it has become?”

I will forever remember a television interview many years ago in which Shimon Peres retold how the Oslo negotiations with Yasser Arafat started off poorly. Peres and Yitzhak Rabin were frustrated by Palestinians disinterest in details of various Israeli proposals.

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2011/02/11

Second Statement By Egypt Army

Following the brief television address by the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces, the EAF released the following written statement today:

Due to the consecutive developments in current incidents and which define the destiny of the country, and in context of continuous follow up for internal and external incidents, and the decision to delegate responsibilities to the vice president of the country, and in belief in our national responsibility to preserve the stability and safety of the nation.

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2011/02/10

Egypt Army To Mubarak: Time To Go – Announcement May Come Tonight


Update from The New York Times:
Egypt’s armed forces on Thursday announced that they had begun to take “necessary measures to protect the nation and support the legitimate demands of the people,” a step that suggested the military intends to take a commanding role in administering the strife-torn nation.

The announcement of an enhanced role for the military came as officials in President Hosni Mubarak’s government suggested a momentous shift in power was underway, including a possible transfer of power from Mubarak to his Vice President Omar Suleiman.

Hossan Badrawi, secretary general of the National Democratic Party (NDP), told Egyptian state news outlets and the BBC that Mubarak would “most probably” speak to the nation soon, and that he would likely step down from his post.



Earlier update from the BBC:
A senior member of Egypt’s governing party has told the BBC he “hopes” that President Hosni Mubarak will transfer power to Vice President Omar Suleiman.

Hossan Badrawi, secretary general of the National Democratic Party (NDP), said Mubarak would “most probably” speak to the nation on Thursday evening.

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2011/02/10

Official Warnings Get Threatening


As Egypt’s uprising entered its 17th day on Thursday, bolstered by labor strikes and worker protests across the country, a senior official in President Hosni Mubarak’s embattled government was quoted as saying the army would “intervene to control the country” if it fell into chaos.

The warning by Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit seemed to add a further ominous tone to earlier comments by the newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman who said the alternatives facing tens of thousands of demonstrators demanding Mubarak’s ouster were dialogue with the authorities or “a coup.”

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2011/02/01

Understanding Egypt’s Historic Moment


Understanding Egypt’s Historic Moment by Steven Cook, Council of Foreign Relations’s Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies.

The uprising in Egypt against President Hosni Mubarak and the military-dominated political system he inherited is shaping up to be a seminal event in the region’s history, ranking with the establishment of Israel, Egypt’s Free Officers’ coup of 1952, and the June 1967 Six Days War. Like these events, the revolution-in-the making has the potential to remake Egyptian and regional politics. Although Mubarak seems to be on the ropes, the outcome of the crisis remains unclear. Mubarak continues to control the coercive apparatus of the state–the military, intelligence services, and what is left of the Ministry of Interior and its forces. It is entirely possible that a stalemate between the large cross section of Egyptian society that has come out into the streets and the state will ensue.

To understand the unfolding events, it is important to take note of the following actors:

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2011/02/01

Letter from Cairo

By Eric Trager
Eric Trager is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a Fulbright Fellow in Cairo in 2006-7.

For a moment on Saturday afternoon, it seemed as though Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had been ousted in a military coup. At approximately 1:30 PM, Al-Arabiya reported that a rift was developing between Defense Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi and Mubarak, and many speculated that Tantawi had refused the president’s orders for the military to fire at protesters in downtown Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

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2011/02/01

Egyptian Army: Will Not Fire on Protesters


The government of Egypt’s authoritarian president, Hosni Mubarak, shook Monday night, as the Egyptian Army declared that it would not use force against protesters demanding his ouster and, in an apparent response, Mr. Mubarak’s most trusted adviser offered to talk with the opposition.

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