News / Middle East

Protests in Egypt, Tunisia Spark Turmoil

An Egyptian activist shouts at anti-riot policemen who block the way leading to the journalists syndicate in downtown Cairo, Jan 26 2011
An Egyptian activist shouts at anti-riot policemen who block the way leading to the journalists syndicate in downtown Cairo, Jan 26 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Noureddine Jebnoun, former professor at the Tunisian Command & General Staff College

Egyptian security forces have deployed en masse across the capital, Cairo, Wednesday amid calls by protest leaders to continue demonstrating despite a ban.

In central Cairo, Egyptian activists clashed with security forces stationed nearby as thousands of Interior Ministry troops stood watch along key roads and bridges to keep passersby from congregating.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry warned on its website that public demonstrations would not be tolerated. Protest organizers reported scattered mobile phone outages and a blockage of the social websites Twitter and Facebook to prevent them from mobilizing supporters.

Top opposition activist Abdul Jalil Mustapha called on President Hosni Mubarak not to seek re-election.

He said the opposition is asking President Mubarak to announce that he will not run for re-election and that his son, Gamal, will not run in his place. Mustapha also insisted that both houses of parliament be dissolved and transparent elections be held.

Video footage of Egypt protests:



The Egyptian stock market also reportedly dropped 4 percent as investors worried about the implications of a rise in turmoil.

Slideshow of Egyptian protests



In nearby Tunisia, security forces fired tear gas at protesters close to the prime minister’s office, as groups of young men threw stones and tried to break through a barricade. Protesters are demanding that interim Prime Minister Mohammed Gannouchi step down.

The prime minister is due to announce a reshuffle of his cabinet. Meanwhile, Education Minister Ahmad Ibrahim urged Tunisians not to get carried away by demonstrations.

VOA's Mohamed Elshinnawi speaks with Noureddine Jebnoun, former professor at the Tunisian National Defense Institute:

He said it's normal for people to have a certain civic-awareness and to be concerned about protecting the gains of the revolution and keeping it from spinning out of control. But, he adds, it is imperative that protests be organized and peaceful and not stop the country from functioning.

Video footage of Tunisia protests:


An active discussion continues in the Arab press about the possibility of popular protests spreading from one Arab country to the next. However Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris III, insists that each Arab country has its own internal logic.

He said that despite what people say, the idea of contagion from one Arab country to another is not a foregone conclusion and that the situation does not resemble that of eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He stressed that each country has its own context and that government structures vary widely. Tunisia, he noted, has a tradition of separation between religion and state, and a vibrant middle class which led the recent revolt. The army, he added, also joined the revolt.

Conditions differ in Egypt, concludes Abou Diab, because the government, the army and the security forces have a "symbiotic relationship", and the state has a Pharoanic tradition of strong leaders. But, he urged President Mubarak to work slowly to democratize the system to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran from taking advantage of a political vacuum.

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

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid