A glimpse at Egypt’s current situation
By Molla Mitiku, Cairo
Egyptian revolution took place following the uprising on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 when millions of protesters in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities demanded the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. That uprising left 846 people dead and 6,000 injured and resulted in the resignation of Mubarek on 11 February 2011.
Some ten months later, Egyptians once again flooded to the historical Tahrir Square for a mass rally saying they have lost trust on the military led transitional government.
The cause for this big mass rally was the document designed by the Security Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) which gave power monopoly to the military.
Thousands packed Tahrir square on 18 November 2011 in protest of this declarations issued by Egypt’s military led government. The document sets rules for crafting the new constitution and includes a provision granting the military a political role as guardian of “constitutional legitimacy.” suggesting that the armed forces could have the final word on major policies.
Pro-democracy groups in Egypt object to the document, fearing the possibility of military intervention after a transition to civilian rule. The protesters attempted to pressure the military government to transfer power to elected civilian rule, after the cabinet tried to enshrine the army's role in a constitutional proposal.
Political groups have also demanded the military council to announce a clear timetable for handing power over to an elected civilian government with a deadline for presidential elections no later than April 2012 expressing the document reinforces "dictatorship".
Tens of thousands of protesters went to the Tahrir Square and expressed their objections on the “document” and inquired the military council to put time line for power transfer.
That demonstration resulted in clashes that left 10 dead and hundreds injured in its first and second days, which aggravated more Egyptians to consider the case seriously and join the protestors.
In the meantime, SCAF denied the inquiries by the protesters about the document. Then, the protesters changed their agenda and inquired the military council to transfer its power for civilians and tens of thousands of Egyptians joined the people in Tahrir Square, which resulted in a mass rally on Tuesday 22 November 2011.
After the mass rally was instigated and a huge number of Egyptians gathered in the historical Tahrir Square, news about the resignation of Prime Minister Sharaf and his Cabinet was disseminated. The leaving Prime Minister, Sharaf, advised all Egyptians to give priority to the interest of their country and he expressed his readiness to do what his country and people deserve from him.
Then, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) announced that it has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Sharaf along with his cabinet.
Field Marshal Hussien Tantawi, head of SCAF, addressed Egyptians on local TV saying in order to conduct the election in the scheduled time, the military will take the responsibility to bring situations to normalization.
In his speech, Tantawi also stressed that SCAF will exert its utmost efforts to solve the current critical situation so that there will be a democratic power transition in the country; adding that SCAF will hand over its power in June.
The protestors were confined in the Tahrir Square for the first two days but spread to nearby squares Tuesday night. One important thing is the fact that the rest of Cairo is as usual.
Everything takes place in Tahrir and nearest areas up to the time I composed this piece. Including those Squares in Dawn Town, where Tahrir is found, there was free movement of vehicles and people; shops were opened and other activities were there that indicated how the Egyptians handle the demonstration in a very civilized manner which could be a lesson for other demonstrators in other parts of the world who usually damage properties and forcing others to join them, blundering prosperities and the like.
According to State media, the numbers of protesters is decreasing after the speech of Field Marshal Tantawi as he promised the public that SCAF will resign if the referendum indicates that.
According to political and economic analysts appearing on Nile International Television right after the speech of Field Marsha Tantawi, there are some priorities for Egypt at this critical time. Ceasing protesting, stopping clashes, conduct the election as scheduled and drawing time line for power transfer to the elected body.
The deadly clash in the historical Cairo’s Tahrir Square and other cities left at least 33 people dead and thousands injured since the violence began.
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