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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.