News / Middle East

EU Urges Egypt Rulers to End Stand-off with Brotherhood

Cars drive between brick barricades erected along a street that leads to Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi have installed a camp and hold daily rallies at Nasr City, in Cairo, July 29, 2013.
Cars drive between brick barricades erected along a street that leads to Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi have installed a camp and hold daily rallies at Nasr City, in Cairo, July 29, 2013.
Reuters
Europe's top diplomat pressed Egypt's rulers on Monday to step back from a growing confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, two days after 80 of his supporters were gunned down in Cairo.
 
Raising the prospect of more bloodshed, the Muslim Brotherhood said it would march again on Monday evening on Interior Ministry offices across the country.
 
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, became the first overseas envoy to visit Egypt since Saturday's carnage, the second mass killing of Morsi supporters by security forces since the army ousted him on July 3.
 
The bloodshed has raised global anxiety that the army may move to crush the Brotherhood, a movement which emerged from decades in the shadows to win power in elections after Egypt's 2011 Arab Spring uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
 
Ashton, on her second trip to Egypt since Morsi's fall, met General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of the army and the man behind the overthrow of Egypt's first freely-elected president. She also held talks with deputy interim president and prominent liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei and interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy.
 
There were no immediate details on the talks. Earlier, Ashton said she would press for a “fully inclusive transition process, taking in all political groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood”.
 
In comments carried by the MENA state news agency, ElBaradei said he had told Ashton that the new leadership was doing all in its power to “reach a peaceful way out of the current crisis, that preserves the blood of all Egyptians”.
 
Ashton was also meeting members of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood's political wing. Thousands of its supporters have camped out for a month at the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in northern Cairo, demanding Morsi's reinstatement and defying threats by the army-backed authorities to remove them.
 
“It's very simple, we are not going anywhere,” Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said before the meeting with Ashton. “We are going to increase the protest and multiply the sit-ins,” he told Reuters. “Someone has to put sense into this leadership.”
 
Ashton's leverage is limited. The United States is Egypt's chief Western backer and source of $1.3 billion in military aid, though the EU is the biggest civilian aid donor to the country, the Arab world's most populous and a strategic bridge between the Middle East and North Africa.
 
The EU has attempted to mediate in the political crisis over the past six months as Egyptians have grown increasingly suspicious of U.S. involvement.
 
Morsi has been in detention since he was ousted and the military-backed interim government has placed him under investigation on charges that include murder.
 
The handling of his case by the military suggests it believes it has the support of a big majority of Egyptians. They turned out in huge numbers to protest against the Islamist leader before the army moved against him.
 
Army chief Sisi has emerged as the public face of the new order, enjoying fawning coverage in Egyptian media and sowing doubts about the military's promise to hand over to full civilian rule with a “road map” to parliamentary elections in about six months.
 
Security forces shot dead dozens of Morsi supporters at dawn on Saturday when they marched from their vigil after a day of rival mass rallies. The Health Ministry put the death toll on Monday at 80, up from 72. The Interior Ministry said one officer had succumbed to his wounds on Monday. Nearly 300 people have died in violence since Sisi deposed Morsi.
 
Interim Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim has denied police culpability, saying his officers intervened with tear gas in clashes between the Brotherhood and angry local residents.
 
A group of Egyptian human rights groups called on Monday for his dismissal. The latest “massacre”, they said, “joins a long list of killings documented by rights groups” since Mubarak's fall.
 
Saturday's bloodshed was the worst since July 8, when security forces killed more than 50 Brotherhood supporters outside a Cairo barracks.
 
The interim cabinet has vowed to clear the Brotherhood's mosque vigil after complaints from residents about the huge encampment on their doorstep.
 
Besides Morsi, other Brotherhood leaders are also being held. In the early hours of Monday police arrested two senior members of the Islamist Wasat Party, allies of Morsi, MENA  reported. The Islamists vowed to keep marching.
 
“The danger we face because of the political situation and the coup is greater than the violence we face in marches,” said Brotherhood member Islam Tawfiq, 26.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs