News / Middle East

Cairo Protests Canceled Amid Fears of Violence

Egyptian army armoured personnel carriers (APC) are seen stationed in front of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Aug. 18, 2013.
Egyptian army armoured personnel carriers (APC) are seen stationed in front of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Aug. 18, 2013.
Al Pessin
Egypt's military chief, General Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, on Sunday threatened renewed force against attacks on government buildings and police stations by anti-government protesters.  But Sissi told military and police officers the army has no intention of seizing power.

He called on Islamic supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi to join the political process, saying "there is room for everyone."

Opponents of the military backed interim government planned, and then canceled, two large protests on Sunday - citing fears of more attacks by security forces.  But some protesters marched in spite of the concerns.

It was Cairo's quietest day since Wednesday, when security forces began their crackdown against supporters of the ousted president, who had been occupying two public squares.  More than 800 people have been killed in the crackdown, including some members of the security forces.

Protest leaders canceled two marches scheduled for Sunday, claiming snipers had been deployed along the planned routes.

Meanwhile, the interim government installed by the military after the July 3rd ousting of President Morsi met, in part, to discuss a proposal to force the country's largest Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, to disband.  Mr. Morsi was a senior Brotherhood official before resigning to run for president, and it still forms the core of his supporters.

The use of force by security units in recent days has further strained the interim government's foreign relations.  Many countries had grudgingly accepted the ousting of the elected president, but are now appalled by the violent crackdown.

On Sunday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy downplayed some tough talk on the subject by U.S. President Barack Obama.

“He did condemn what he considered to be excessive use of force by government forces.  He also condemned violence throughout the events by all parties.  And he also emphasized the importance of the Egyptian-American relationship and his interest in pursuing that.  We will take the speech as a whole and we analyze it in detail," he said. 

Foreign Reactions

The situation in Egypt puts many foreign governments in a quandary.  But at Human Rights Watch, researcher Heba Morayef says there is one thing world leaders should definitely do.

“This is a moment where the international community needs to use whatever leverage it has in its relations with the Egyptian authorities, and in particular with the Egyptian military, because this is an incredibly volatile situation, because we are likely to see more violence.  Whenever the police uses excessive force in response they exacerbate the situation," she said.

Many governments have done just that, and Saturday night's mosque-clearing operation was done mainly by tear gas, without the widespread use of gunfire that resulted in mass casualties during the previous days.

While the activists consider how to resume their protests, families continue to line up at Cairo's morgue, waiting to claim the bodies of their loved ones. 

  • Women activists of Islamic political party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) hold pictures of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi during a pro-Morsi rally in Islamabad on August 18, 2013.
  • Egyptian residents in Japan and their supporters stage a rally in front of the Egyptian embassy in Tokyo to protest the killing of hundreds of anti-government demonstrators, August 18, 2013.
  • Egyptian residents in Japan and their supporters stage a rally in front of the Egyptian embassy in Tokyo to protest police and army crackdown on demonstrators in Egypt, Aug. 18, 2013.
  • Egyptians security forces escort a protester out of the al-Fatah mosque and through angry crowds following a day of fierce street battles that left scores of people dead, near Ramses Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 17, 2013.
  • A protester displays a banner during a rally in front of the Egyptian embassy in Tokyo on August 18, 2013.
  • Malaysian Muslims offer special prayers called "Qunut Nazilah" during a rally to oppose the military overthrow of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi and subsequent killings, in Kuala Lumpur on August 17, 2013.
  • A girl looks from a car window with a 'wanted' poster of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R), the army chief who ousted Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi (L poster), as she joins a a rally against the crackdown on protesters in Egypt in central London on August 17, 20
  • Demonstrators supporting Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi fly Egyptian flags from their car windows during a rally against the crackdown on protesters in Egypt in central London on August 17, 2013.
  • Women activists of Islamic political party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) hold pictures of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi during a pro-Morsi rally in Islamabad on August 18, 2013.
  • Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo August 18, 2013.
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi chant slogans during a protest in Ramses Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 16, 2013.
  • Protesters hold signs during a demonstration condemning the recent deadly military crackdown on supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo on August 17, 2013, at the New Mosque in Istanbul.
  • An Egyptian protester reacts as a supporter of ousted President Mohamed Morsi falls after being shot while standing in front of Egyptian Army tanks during a protest in Ismailiya, Egypt, Aug. 16, 2013.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kings of ASIA from: SE ASIA
August 19, 2013 11:12 AM
Egypt autorities are saying that they will end ''terrorism''......this is how they need to start don't let Mubarak out of jail and By now while the situation has already not stabilized, troops must patrolling the streets and they need to arrests all police units and their commenders that fired and killed people .... . Allegations of torture of prisoners that were brought forward people, including minors and women must STOP and all kilings must STOP


by: Kings
August 19, 2013 10:48 AM
all funds and aid must stop to the general and his mercenries of present Egypt....they must all resign and make new interim government and start to make all inclusive government(brotherhood included) and free elections and let all prisenors go free including brotherhood and Morsi supporters


by: larouchejet from: philippines
August 19, 2013 12:50 AM
First ousting a so called democratically elected president who are calling for a jihad in syria,who also showed support to a "bunch" of misguided rebels or should i say al qaeda led rebels is RIGHT!Now the interim govt is using force to supress a misguided protestors and again i called it RIGHT MOVE.The Egyptian interim govt must not vow to this misguided ralliest for it is clear that this people are being used by terrorist to destabillize your country(egypt).

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid