News / Africa

    Analyst: Egypt’s President Mubarak Sees Crisis as 'Manageable'

    Anti-government protesters demonstrate in Tahrir, or Liberation Square in Cairo,  February 01, 2011
    Anti-government protesters demonstrate in Tahrir, or Liberation Square in Cairo, February 01, 2011

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Heba Morayef, a Human Rights Watch researcher, spoke with Clottey

    Peter Clottey

    An Egyptian-based human rights activist says beleaguered President Hosni Mubarak’s Tuesday night’s speech shows his belief that the ongoing “situation is manageable.”

    Heba Morayef, a Human Rights Watch researcher, said the protesters’ message is clear that President Mubarak should step down after serving as the country’s leader for three decades.

    “I think the protesters are trying to keep the momentum going to draw in additional protesters to keep the numbers up because, while the numbers remain high and the interest is there, they want to sustain that pressure from that perspective on the government and on the president specifically,” said Morayef.

    “Whether or not the president will respond to those demands I think is doubtful, in the short term, as his latest speech has shown. He has rejected the primary demand of resignation, but made an offering of not running in the next election. This does remind one to such an extent of the concession that [former Tunisian President Zine Abidine] Ben Ali made towards protesters’ demands by committing to leave by 2014.”

    In his late Tuesday speech, President Mubarak told the nation he will not run for office in the upcoming election scheduled for September. His remarks on state television came after hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets nationwide in peaceful demonstrations demanding that the embattled president resign.

    However, it is unclear if his decision will quell demands from many Egyptian protesters who want to see him leave office right away. After the speech, some demonstrators chanted demands that Mr. Mubarak vacate office immediately. “Leave! Leave!,” they shouted.

    In Cairo, throngs of people who had gathered for hours listened to the speech in Tahrir [Liberation] Square - a focal point of the peaceful protests.

    Some analysts say President Mubarak wants to “stall” for time in order to consolidate what they described as his shaken grip on power. But, Morayef said the protesters want a transition to new leadership for the country.

    “There are enough angry constituencies out there on the square [Tahrir] who have legitimate demands, whether these are socio-economic or political, or who just feel it’s time for a change in leadership,” said Morayef.

    “Tahrir, over the last few days, has become a safe space of expression and assembly. It’s not an experience Egyptians ever had before, the fact that they can say whatever they want, they can say it to the media and there is no police around to be scared off; any potential consequences for you and for your family is a new experience, and I think that is not one they are likely to forget very soon.”

    Opposition activist Mohamed ElBaradei told U.S. cable news television (CNN) that Mr. Mubarak's decision to remain in power will extend Egypt's “agony” until September’s election. He called the move an "act of deception" from someone who "does not want to let go.”

    “His latest speech shows that President Mubarak still feels the situation is manageable, and he feels that, by granting some of the demands by protesters, that will calm down the level of anger and will allow things to continue more or less like they were before,” said Morayef.

    NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.