News / Middle East

    Egyptian Army Issues Ultimatum

    In this photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, July 1, 2013, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, right, meets with Prime Minister Hesham Kandil, center, and Egyptian Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, left in Cairo.
    In this photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, July 1, 2013, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, right, meets with Prime Minister Hesham Kandil, center, and Egyptian Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, left in Cairo.
    VOA News
    The Egyptian military is giving President Mohamed Morsi and opposition leaders 48 hours to settle their differences and agree on a path forward. If they don’t, according to the military, it will issue its own plan for Egypt’s future.

    The ultimatum was delivered Monday by Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after several days of massive nationwide protests and violence that has left at least 16 people dead.

    Al-Sisi’s warning came after anti-Morsi protesters ransacked the Cairo headquarters of the president’s Muslim Brotherhood movement.  

    Witnesses said the protesters smashed windows and tossed firebombs into the Brotherhood building. Amateur video showed Brotherhood supporters on the roof of the building firing at protesters below. Officials said at least five people were killed.

    Watch: related video footage

    Egyptian Protesters Ransack Muslim Brotherhood Officesi
    X
    July 01, 2013 1:10 PM
    Protesters in Egypt have stormed and ransacked the Cairo headquarters of President Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.

    Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el Haddad accused Egypt's national police force of not responding to pleas to intervene when the group’s headquarters building came under attack. Haddad also warned that the Brotherhood would consider setting up an armed militia to defend its party offices.

    The military’s ultimatum also came after anti-government demonstrations throughout Egypt on Sunday that were the largest since the 2011 revolution that swept former president Hosni Mubarak from power.  Arabic-language media quoted the Interior Ministry saying the crowds in Cairo and other cities across Egypt totaled as many as 3 million people.

    The demonstrations were organized in part by the recently-formed opposition "Tamarrod" movement, which is demanding that Morsi step down by Tuesday. Morsi told Britain's Guardian newspaper Sunday that he was legitimately elected and would not resign.

    Veteran opposition editor and publisher Hisham Kassem says Morsi is finding himself increasingly isolated as most branches of the government have deserted him.
     
    "While [former President] Mubarak had all the forces, all the pillars of the state at least neutral, if not supporting him, Morsi has nothing," Kassem said. "He doesn't have the foreign office; he doesn't have the judiciary; he doesn't have the military, the police force, or the media."

    Kassem also pointed out that the Egyptian national police force, which had been widely discredited for siding with the Mubarak regime against protesters in 2011, has suddenly gained new favor with the public, "by siding with the people, this time around."

    Egyptian police officers chanted slogans against Morsi at the funeral for a top commander killed in an attack in the Sinai, last week. Several officers recently accused the Muslim Brotherhood of colluding with militants in the Sinai.


    Edward Yeranian in Cairo also contributed to this report

    • A protester, opposing Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi, sits next to graffiti depicting Morsi on a wall in Cairo July 2, 2013.
    • Supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi march in formation with sticks and protective gear outside of the Rabia el-Adawiya mosque near the presidential palace, July 2, 2013.
    • Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans and flash laser lights during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, July 2, 2013.
    • Sayed Saafan, 57, right, an Egyptian supporter of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, holds a stick and wears protective gear during training outside of the Rabia el-Adawiya mosque near the presidential palace, July 2, 2013.
    • Egyptian supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi read newspapers under his poster at their camp outside of the Rabia el-Adawiya mosque near the presidential palace, July 2, 2013.
    • Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi guard the entrance of the presidential palace, July 2, 2013.
    • Supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi attend a rally in Nasser City, Cairo, Egypt, July 1, 2013.
    • A protester holds an Egyptian national flag as he and others attack the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqattam district in Cairo, July 1, 2013.
    • A protester waves a flag as Egyptians gather in Tahrir Square during a demonstration against President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo, June 30, 2013.
    • A looter gestures as part of an air-conditioning is thrown down from the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters after it was burned down by protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi in Cairo's Moqattam district, July 1, 2013.
    • A protester opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi wears a defaced poster of Morsi as a mask in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, June 30, 2013.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: DORAI RAJ L from: Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
    July 01, 2013 9:53 PM
    I think, Cleopatra should return to solve this issue.

    by: JR from: Brasil
    July 01, 2013 2:55 PM
    That's a so core problem that we can say nothing at all. The egyptcians have to find their own ways by themselves, that's all.

    by: Michael from: USA
    July 01, 2013 7:27 AM
    Morsi might be too late to change his policy. What policy? The policy of the past months. The protestors object to that policy, but they are not simply calling for a change in policy. Anyhow, policy would not be followed under any plea to do so

    by: ali baba from: new york
    July 01, 2013 5:36 AM
    Egypt is dead It is dead since Mubarak leave the power. The economy is reach to point of no return .Muslim brotherhood and radical Hamas started revolution that drag the country downhill .Tthe time to fix the problem is over, the damage is beyond repair. united state policy maker has done terrible mistake to support Muslim brotherhood and giving them 1.5 billion of military equipment which will be in the wrong hand of terrorist Islam is not the solution..Islam is prescription of disaster
    In Response

    by: Mark Marky from: Brasil
    July 01, 2013 10:14 PM
    Egypt was much better off under the former dictator than it will ever be under islamic extremists like the "brotherhood," who are totalitarian, murderous, hateful, and violent persecutors of anyone who dares to be different or diagree with them. Pity the poor Copts! The same will be true of Syria where the "rebels" are killing Christians and minorities. Wherever islam holds sway there is total disregard for human rights.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora