News / Middle East

Egyptian President Mubarak Dismisses Cabinet Following Massive Protests

In this image made from video broadcast on Friday, Jan. 28, 2011, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appears on television, in his first appearance on television since protests erupted demanding his ouster
In this image made from video broadcast on Friday, Jan. 28, 2011, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appears on television, in his first appearance on television since protests erupted demanding his ouster

Multimedia

Audio

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has appeared on national television for the first time since protesters took to the streets demanding his ouster.  In a televised speech late Friday, Mr. Mubarak promised to implement political and economic reforms.

Key Players in Egypt's Crisis

  • President Hosni Mubarak: The 82-year-old has ruled Egypt for 30 years as leader of the National Democratic Party. With no named successor and in poor health, analysts say the president is grooming his son, Gamal, to succeed him. Egypt's longest-serving president came to power after the assassination of his predecessor, Anwar Sadat.
  • Mohamed ElBaradei: The Nobel Peace laureate and former Egyptian diplomat has gained international attention as a vocal critic of Mr. Mubarak and his government. Until recently he headed the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, and he has lived outside Egypt for years. ElBaradei founded the nonpartisan movement National Association for Change, and has offered to lead a transitional administration in Egypt if Mr. Mubarak steps down.
  • Minister Omar Suleiman: The head of Egyptian intelligence and a close ally of President Mubarak, Suleiman is seen by some analysts as a possible successor to the president. He earned international respect for his role as a mediator in Middle East affairs and for curbing Islamic extremism.
  • Ayman Nour: The political dissident founded the Al Ghad or "tomorrow" party. Nour ran against Mr. Mubarak in the 2005 election and was later jailed on corruption charges. The government released him in 2009 under pressure from the United States and other members of the international community.
  • Muslim Brotherhood: The Islamic fundamentalist organization is outlawed in Egypt, but remains the largest opposition group. Its members previously held 20 percent of the seats in parliament, but lost them after a disputed election in late 2010. The group leads a peaceful political and social movement aimed at forming an Islamic state.

The 82-year-old Egyptian ruler ordered his Cabinet to step down and promised to appoint a new Cabinet Saturday.   He also said the days of protests this week were a plot to destabilize Egypt.

In Washington, President Barack Obama, in an address from the White House Friday evening, asked the Egyptian government to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters and restore Internet and communication services that have been cut off.

Mr. Obama said he spoke to Mr. Mubarak and asked him to take "concrete steps" to fulfill his promises of reform made to the Egyptian people.

Buildings continued to burn in in Cairo and tanks patrolled the streets, capping the most violent and chaotic day in Egypt since mass demonstrations began Tuesday.  

Tens of thousands of protesters defied the nighttime curfew and continued to demand Mr. Mubarak end his 30-year rule.

Medical officials say at least 13 people were killed in Friday's unrest in Suez.  There are reports that more than 100 people have been injured across the country.

Earlier in Washington, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs also said the U.S. would be reviewing its assistance program to Egypt, which tops $1 billion.

Protesters in Cairo surrounded some vehicles belonging to security forces, and at one point rocked an empty troop carrier back and forth before burning it. Demonstrators have also attempted to storm the state television building.

Large fires are visible at several spots in the city, including at the headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party.  Witnesses have reported hearing gunfire in the streets.

Convoys of military vehicles carrying troops poured into Cairo about the time a dusk-to-dawn curfew began.  

Soldiers have been patrolling Suez, where police used tear gas, water cannons and clubs to push back demonstrators.  Military vehicles also moved into Alexandria.

Related video report of protests by Henry Ridgwell:

News reports said the national carrier Egypt Air suspended flights into Cairo.

Meanwhile, police briefly detained Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei at a mosque in suburban Cairo, Friday. The former U.N. atomic energy chief who returned to Egypt from Austria Thursday, has said he is willing to lead an opposition movement.

Internet service, a key tool for activists, was shut down across the country shortly after midnight.  Cell phone text messaging and data plans were also disabled. Telecom company Vodafone says the Egyptian government ordered all mobile telephone operators to suspend service in parts of the country.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

Slideshow of the Egyptian protests

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

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid