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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid