The Dictator’s end-game in Egypt: Mubarak’s supporters attack pro-democracy demonstrators
Special to USAfricaonline.com
Cairo, February 2, 2011: Hundreds of supporters of Hosni Mubarak today clashed with anti-government activists in Cairo during a massive rally against the besieged President who has vowed toquit by September, even as the military ordered the protesters demanding the leader”s immediate ouster to “go home.”
For the first time, 82-year-old Mubarak”s supporters took to the streets and urged the President, who has been in power since 1981, not to quit under any circumstances.
They marched into an anti-Mubarak rally of thousands of people on the Tahrir (Liberation) Square and engaged in fistfights, witnesses were quoted as saying by the media.
Mubarak”s supporters also damaged banners denouncing thePresident.
During the massive anti-regime rally at the Square,protesters chanted slogans like “Mubarak you have to go now.
Go, Go now,” as the military for the first time since the outbreak of the uprising against the 30-year rule of Mubarak nine days ago, issued a decree asking the people to end their demonstrations.
“Your message has arrived. Your demands have become known,” military spokesman Ismail Etman said on the state television in an address, marking a shift in the army’s stand,with the men in battle fatigues apparently throwing their weight behind Mubarak.
Opposition parties defied the army orders to “go home”saying they planned to go ahead with another huge rally after the Friday prayers. Their leaders have served an ultimatum on Mubarak to quit by then.
Egypt”s army, hugely popular with the public, has so far refrained from interfering in the huge protests that have claimed over 150 lives and it was not immediately known whether its new warnings were a prelude to any clampdown.
Its warning came as Mubarak, buckling under pressure, promised not to stand for presidential elections scheduled inSeptember, but said he had no intention to flee Egypt.
Mubarak went on TV to announce that he would not contest the September polls, but would also not step down immediately,an offer which failed to calm public fury as clashes erupted between his supporters and opponents in major cities.
“I say in all honesty and regardless of the current situation, that I did not intend to nominate myself for a new presidential term,” he said.
His address beamed over giant TV screens on the Tahrir Square — the hub of anti-government protests in heart ofCairo — was greeted by boos and jeers by the mammoth crowds who chanted “Go Go Go Now Mubarak.”
In his 10-minute address, Mubarak said he would not flee the country. “I will die on Egyptian soil,” he said.
The President, who appeared somber, said he would serve the remaining part of his term to accomplish necessary steps for peaceful transfer of power and carry out amendments to the rules of Presidential polls. ref: PTI
USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin, Egyptians are Not waiting for Obama and United Nations.
By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com
USAfrica, January 30, 2011: As the popular uprising and pressure continue in Egypt against the 30-plus years of the iron-fisted presidency of Hosni Mubarak and his tottering government take more hardline but futile actions, the leadership realities of the post-Mubarak are developing and new leaders emerging.
First and clearly, the pace of the demands and demonstrators are, understandably, far ahead of the policy establishments in Washington DC., London, Tel Aviv and other centers of international influence. Some of their “specialists” still argued until the dying days that the regime is not like Tunisia’s and Tunisians are more deprived than Egyptians. Both claims are flimsy and misleading; or worse, simply false.
Second, the complications and dizzying twist of the events have left the Obama administration looking rather slow in clearly defining and identifying the issues in credible terms reflecting the demand of Egyptians for an open society, fundamental democratic rights, media freedom and human rights, opposition to the personalization of the resources and instruments of Egyptian state power by Mubarak and his cronies, accountability for the resources of Egypt, opposition to corruption and squandermania by Mubarak and his henchmen and families, the legitimate demands for the expansion of economic opportunities for the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.
Like most dictators, Mubarak does not know, any more, he is an emperor without clothes…. It’s been, to put it tidily, a revolting, tawdry and sorry image. It’s no longer if, but how soon… when, what day, what hour for Egypt’s corrupt dictator Mubarak to completely slide into history’s dustbin. Good bye to bad rubbish!
• Chido Nwangwu is the Founder and Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; The Black Business Journal, CLASSmagazine,
PhotoWorks.TV, AchebeBooks.com, Nigeria360, USAfricaTV and several blogs, assessed by The New York TImes as the largest and arguably most influential multimedia networks for Africans and Americans. He served on the editorial board of the Daily Times of Nigeria in Lagos and worked for the Nigerian Television Authority (news) in the 1980s; served on a publicity committee of the Holocaust Museum, Houston; recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in May 2009; adviser on Africa to Houston’s former Mayor Dr. Lee Brown. Chido appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, SABC, CBSNews, ABCNews, FOXNews, NBCNews, etc. Chido@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.
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