News / Africa

Protesters Clash in Cairo, More Presidential Advisers Quit

Protesters opposed to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi evacuate and injured fellow protester during clashes between supporters of president Mohammed Morsi and their rivals in front of the president palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.
Protesters opposed to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi evacuate and injured fellow protester during clashes between supporters of president Mohammed Morsi and their rivals in front of the president palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.
Edward YeranianVOA News
Supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi battled late Wednesday in Cairo with rocks and firebombs, as three key presidential advisors quit to protest the president's handling of the country's constitutional crisis.

Reporting from the scene, VOA correspondent Elizabeth Arrott said the new violence erupted when Morsi's Islamist supporters attacked demonstrators protesting what they describe as a presidential power grab.

"I've seen Molotov cocktails, people armed with iron bars and rocks, some people even pulling branches off of trees in terms of trying to find some kind of weapon to fight with, the crowds pushing back and forth and there are reports of live ammunition being used and again, unconfirmed reports of casualties, of fatalities among the people who are fighting," she said.
 
Arrott said most of the presidential supporters are men with beards typical of members of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, while opponents of the president appeared younger and had some women present. 

As clashes continued late Wednesday, there were reports of Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacking journalists outside the presidential palace.  Separately, three more presidential advisors announced their resignations to protest the decrees granting Mr. Morsi expanded powers. Five of the president's 17 advisors have quit since November 22.

Opposition protesters want Morsi to abolish a decree he issued last month granting himself sweeping powers that place him above review by the judiciary. Many also oppose a new draft constitution drawn up by a mainly Islamist committee. The draft is set for a December 15 referendum.

  • Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans during a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
  • A supporter of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chants slogans during clashes with opponents, not pictured, outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
  • Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters beat an opponent, center, during clashes outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
  • Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters clash with opponents, not pictured, outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
  • Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
  • An Egyptian protester with Arabic writing on his forehead that reads, "Muslims and Christians, one hand," attends a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
  • A young boy waves a national flag from his mother's shoulders as protesters chant slogans in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
  • Anti-Morsi protesters run from smoke from a tear gas canister thrown by riot police, during clashes in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
  • Protesters chant slogans and wave national flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
  • People walk between tents belonging to anti-Morsi protesters, in Tahrir square, Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
  • Protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a rally in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
  • Protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a rally in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
  • Riot police stand guard behind barbed wire while protesters chant anti Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.

Clinton urges talks

Earlier in Brussels, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the rival sides to hold a dialogue with each other, rather than try to impose their views on each other.

“The upheaval that we are seeing now, once again, in the streets of Cairo and of other cities indicates that dialogue is urgently needed, and it needs to be a two-way dialogue, not one side talking at another side," she said.

Clinton also urged Egypt's new leadership to work to craft a new constitution via a “process that is open, transparent and fair” and doesn't “favor one group over any other.”

Egyptian Vice President Mahmoud Mekki told a news conference that it is possible to reach a compromise over a number of contentious points in the draft constitution, but that the referendum to approve the document would go ahead as planned later this month.

Mekki said that 10 or 12 clauses at most are under dispute and that it could be possible to work out a compromise over them in the days leading up to the vote.  He said the president granted himself extraordinary powers to address the “critical situation through which the country is passing,” saying that it was a response to “calls by the people for stability.”

Long protests

On Tuesday, Egyptian riot police fired tear gas outside the presidential palace, where tens of thousands of protesters had gathered while Morsi was inside conducting business.

Police tried to stop the crowd from storming the palace but soon retreated and let the marchers through a barrier and up to the palace walls. Egyptian officials say president left the palace during the march.

Many of the marchers chanted the same anti-government slogans used in the uprising that toppled former authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak.

You May Like

Italian Red Cross Chief: Don't Label Migrants 'Illegal'

Speaking at the United Nations headquarters in New York Wednesday Francesco Rocca says migrants are victims, not criminals More

US Intel Officials Cautious About New IS Threat

Threat, said to have been posted by alleged American member of Islamic State terror group, says Sunday’s attack in Texas ‘is only the beginning’ More

Eyes in Sky Monitor Weather, Predict Epidemics

Satellites track storms, population movements, ocean warming to predict disease conditions More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
December 05, 2012 10:37 PM
Well it looks like a new dictatorship is in the making; I guess we can expect hundredths of thousands of people loosing their rights, millions will be displaced... Potentially it could be much worse than the dictatorship it replaced. Civil war around the corner...I guess, as usual, the army will need to step in and save Egypt. Notwithstanding all the promisses about "a national gvmt and all inclusive democracy", before Morsi/Co were elected. At the first opportunity Morsi declared himself the new pharoe.... And as usual women excercising free speech, if the news are correct, a female is the first casualty(murdered by some coward). Religeous minorities will be the next on the list of victims, and will be sent packing. Essentially it looks like the new ways are the old ways = no real change.

by: Jimbo
December 05, 2012 8:10 PM
The blood will flow until Egypt is declared an Islamist republic with laws based on sharia. Then the blood will really start to flow....
In Response

by: Selim from: Sydney
December 06, 2012 1:14 AM
I don’t think Egypt and the Egyptians need a president
I think Egypt needs an elected Prime Minister rather than a president with a specific agenda to tackle issues like Economy, Unemployment, internal security and Human rights. Terms of service of round 2 years. A president maybe appointed by the Prime Minister to serve in a ceremonial role rather than becoming drunk with power as in the current situation.
President Morsi, in less than 3 months managed to divide his people and the nation, right in the middle
President Morsi is only supported by the extreme right not for anything other than his Islamic agenda
What we have seen so far is simply political hooliganism not Democracy
I would like to see the opposition in Parliament on TV not on the streets of Cairo!!
Democracy is not just demonstrations and vote. These are just the apparent features of it . The rest have never been practiced in Egypt since the British occupation.
Before replacing the constitution, Egyptians should review and upgrade their stand on human rights and how to device a document or a declarations that would comply with international standards.

In Response

by: NIck from: NYC
December 06, 2012 12:10 AM
And Obama is smiling ear to ear- the Egyptian people will need to suffer due to their election of this man. Kind of sound familiar? The Arab Spring- and as time goes by the sad reality of it will continue to disappoint.
In Response

by: tpv from: texas
December 05, 2012 11:38 PM
Arm both sides, let 'em fight it out. Burn, baby, burn!

by: Nikos Retsos from: Chicago
December 05, 2012 7:09 PM
There were free and fair elections after the Egyptian Revolution, and the parliament elected - along with the president elected, Mr. Morsi, will determine the course of the post-revolutionary direction of the Egyptian government. That is democracy: The majority rules, and the opposition presents its complaints in the parliament - if any- not in the streets!


What we see in Egypt today, however, is an effort by the losers of the elections to dictate what the winners should do! I guess that since the protesters overthrew Mubarak, they think now that "They" are the "Supreme" power in Egypt! In short, "street mobs" rule is "Supreme" - both against the former dictator, and against the newly elected leaders! Nikos Retsos, retired professor
In Response

by: Allan
December 06, 2012 3:45 AM
"What we see in Egypt today, however, is an effort by the losers of the elections to dictate what the winners should do!"

That is NOT the fact. The fact is they are trying to prevent the islamist groups to make the constitution based on Islam. The Islamic groups in egypt are following the footsteps of the Iranian islamic groups who established a dictatorship regime step by step that now not only doesn't let any voice inside iran _but themselves _ by all inhuman means, but exports its extreme views and terrorists worldwide. World should wake up! Do we need another islamic terrorist state??!! maybe ??!!
In Response

by: haios from: SF
December 06, 2012 2:25 AM
you wrong on all counts. He won elections, yes, but it does not give him the right to ignore the law and grant himself unchecked powers. You DO NOT create a constitution unfair from the office, and good only for muslims, and expect the other people to take it silently, unless you want to make the conflict permanent and cause civil war by constitution.

by: David Tamanini from: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
December 05, 2012 6:45 PM
As an attorney, I understand the US Constitution and it was made to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. This is our constitution that is very difficult to change requiring a 2/3 vote of the congress and a 3/4 vote of the people. I read the proposed new Egyptian Constitution and it is easy for a super majority to change it, and it does not give blanket protections for minority groups. Although the secularists are a vocal minority, I believe they are mostly seeking protection from abuses in the future by the minority and the passion it brings to its point of view.
In Response

by: david tamanini from: harrisburg
December 08, 2012 5:04 PM
For purposes of clarity, my last sentence should have said: Although the secularists are a vocal minority, I believe they are mostly seeking protection from abuses in the future by the majority ( not minority)and the passion it brings to its point of view.
In Response

by: Redcliff from: Aus
December 06, 2012 5:58 AM
You will be wasting your time trying to apply your understanding of the US constitution to any part of the Middle East. It just doesn't work. All you get is more stress and distress.

by: Romildo Caldas from: Brazil
December 05, 2012 3:39 PM
Only Dialogue is the way to achieve Peace and Union among Egyptians. To reach these goals, egyptians need to renounce egoistic targets. Egypt as a nation, has to be the heart of the Effort towards Democracy.

by: Trying to Understand from: USA
December 05, 2012 1:06 PM
Here we go again. I dont see anything any different than with any other islamic country. Total disarray here. When you are on display to the world to show your democratic government works, this isnt what you should see. When will these nations ever learn that the islamist governments are dictatorships? The age of a dictatorship is over. People just arent that stupid anymore. No you cant have my sons and daughters to fight your wars either. Good Luck!

by: Faizal from: Toronto
December 05, 2012 10:26 AM
The World has to realize that Egypt has 100 million people and a million or so secularist does not represent the opinion of the nation. The Islamist have tens of millions of supporters, almost all of rural Egypt backs the Islamist, not to mention the millions upon millions in urban areas. With every democracy comes opposition, there is no such scenario in which everyone is happy in a democracy.
In Response

by: Tu mama from: NoToronto
December 06, 2012 12:11 AM
The people of egypt despite of any political view and religions, had been through to much suffer to reach democracy... That strong movement that involved people of all kind shouldnt be vanished for a group , even if it is majority.. that seeks control over others or to impose their ideas by laws....over the minority... that is not democracy, that is tiranny, they will rechange the rules, they will become corrupted,, and they will become the oppose from what the world goes for the future INCLUSION, FREE RIGHTS FOR EVERYONE DESPITE RELIGION, RACE, ORIGIN, CULTURE...
In Response

by: jack dick from: USA
December 05, 2012 12:50 PM
If you read the News, 25 Million were thought to march and protest yesterday; quite a bit more than the million ou spoke of.

by: AspenFreePress from: Aspen, Co.
December 05, 2012 10:24 AM
Sounds like "rent a mob" on both sides.
Sterling Greenwood

by: Michael from: USA
December 05, 2012 8:26 AM
The problem I see is that there is as of yet no integral understanding of the Egyptian situation, neither inside the country nor outside. Each individual has her view. This might be enough to solve the governmental problems, thus the logic in democratic vote where the individual puts forth her outlook

by: ali baba from: new york
December 05, 2012 5:30 AM
the country which known of egypt is dead.moresy refused to understand the need of egyptian people.he put the last nail in Egypt coffin. there is no way that egypt will stable ,safe country again.once this crisis is over,the other crisis again,more riots .more blood shed . moersy has not make any policy to absord the anger of common people instead he flames the situation to shift the counry into islamic state .and make hardship for people make their living on tourism .
islam is not the solution.islam is a prescription for disater. and people witness it in Sudan when the country still in civil war .Labonan is the same. and Egypt in the horizon
In Response

by: Gransa
December 05, 2012 11:58 PM
Egypt's election has been scammed thanks to the Muslim Brotherhood meddling with the candidate. The candidate to be president was a good one, peaceful and fair to Christians and Muslims, but he was replaced by Morsi at the last minute.

Democracy isn't possible. Democracy being for the people.

But if one or many people have evil intentions, or put their belief, which is Islam, with their use of violence instead of peace, then democracy needs to be fixed.

Muslim Brotherhood Supporters and members, wake up and stop fighting. You should be serving all the people, not dividing.

Just go work. If you care about your country, stop protesting. Your economy has gone to shits because of it.

You want something done? You want change? You have to work on the education system and battle irrational muslim extremists and extremists in general.
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailandi
X
May 05, 2015 5:50 PM
Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailand

Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Russia's 'Victory Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

ussia is preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, known since the Soviet era as “The Great Patriotic War,” with a massive parade on May 9th of military hardware and millions of medals handed out to veterans or their relatives. But critics say the Soviet-style display of power and nationalism overshadows tragic scars during and after the war that still influence politics and foreign policy, especially in the current Ukraine crisis.
Video

Video WWII Anniversary Brings Old Friends and New Worries

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has special significance, with Russia becoming more assertive in Ukraine and sending its military planes to the edges of western countries’ airspace. Changes in the geostrategic balance and the transatlantic relationship are felt across the continent, not least in German towns that have hosted U.S. military bases since the defeat of Nazi Germany. VOA’s Al Pessin visited Schweinfurt, Germany, where a large base closed last year.
Video

Video Abraham Lincoln Funeral Re-created for 150th Civil War Anniversary

Over the last four years, commemorative events to mark the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War have brought thousands of visitors to battlefields and historic landmarks across the country. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, the final event in the Civil War's sesquicentennial honors the final journey home of the slain American President, Abraham Lincoln.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

VOA Blogs