News / Middle East

US Decries Use of 'Thugs' Against Egyptian Protesters

Supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, on horses and a camel, clash with anti-regime protesters in Cairo on February 2, 2011
Supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, on horses and a camel, clash with anti-regime protesters in Cairo on February 2, 2011

The United States Wednesday condemned what it says was the use of "thugs" against democracy demonstrators in central Cairo. A senior official said President Hosni Mubarak has little time left to prove he can preside over the reform process he has promised.

The Obama administration has refrained thus far from flatly calling for President Mubarak to step down.

But officials here are expressing outrage over Wednesday’s attacks on protesters by what they term "thugs" supporting the besieged Egyptian leader.

One senior official said while President Mubarak wants to remain in office pending elections for a successor, he now only has a "narrow amount of time" to prove that he can lead a credible reform process.

Related video report by Mohamed ElShinnawi and Laurel Bowman


Echoing earlier comments from the White House calling Wednesday’s violence "outrageous and deplorable", State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said the appearance on the streets of pro-Mubarak forces attacking demonstrators "changed the dynamic" of an already difficult situation.

"Let me differentiate between those who can bring forward their perspective on current events, as opposed to the thugs that we saw on the streets today, who are clearly trying to intimidate those people who have been peacefully protesting and expressing their strong views about a different kind of future for Egypt, "said P.J. Crowley. "We don’t know who unleashed these people. But there should be full accountability."

Crowley said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Mr. Mubarak’s newly appointed Vice president Omar Suleiman to call for an inquiry into the Wednesday violence.

The spokesman also said that retired senior U.S. diplomat Frank Wisner left Cairo Wednesday after meeting President Mubarak and Suleiman, Egypt’s former intelligence chief.

Wisner, a former U.S. ambassador to Egypt, is said to have delivered in person the message President Obama and other U.S. officials have stressed publicly in recent days, that a process of transition in Egypt must begin immediately.

The senior official who spoke to reporters here, asked why Wisner had been recalled so quickly, said only that his mission "had gone as far as it could."

The official said there is sentiment at the highest level of the Cairo government that they can outlast the demonstrators, but said in the U.S. view that is a "flawed assumption".

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs