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

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid