Egypt’s Vice President El Baradei resigns

Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian Nobelist and ex-UN diplomat, supported the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi by Egypt's army.
Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian Nobelist and ex-UN diplomat, supported the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi by Egypt's army.

El Baradei announced his resignation on Wednesday.

Egypt’s acting vice president, Mohammed El Baradei, has announced his resignation in protest against a brutal crackdown by the army-backed government that left more than 100 people dead.

Egypt’s health ministry said 149 people were killed on Wednesday in a bloody assault against hundreds of thousands of who held sit-ins to demand the reinstatement of Mohammed Morsi, who was sacked by the army on July 3.

But the Muslim Brotherhood, which was behind the protests, says more than 2,000 died.

Emergency order has been imposed in many parts of Egypt, to begin from 8pm local time.

Mr. El Baradei, a Nobel Peace laureate said he stepped down from the interim government because he “cannot continue in shouldering the responsibility for decisions I do not agree with and I fear their consequences.”

“I cannot shoulder the responsibility for a single drop of blood,” he said in a statement.

His resignation is seen as a big blow to Egypt’s interim government which forced Mr. Morsi out with the support of Mr. El Baradei.

Reports say he favored more negotiation and dialogue to any use of force, and threw in the towel after his opinion was repeatedly ignored by the military-backed government.

The scale of violence on Wednesday seemed most bloody since the removal of Mr. Morsi and drew widespread condemnations around the world.

The government said the decision to storm the sit-ins was taken because the “security and order of the nation face danger due to deliberate sabotage, and attacks on public and private buildings and the loss of life by extremist groups.”

World Reaction (Source AP):

UNITED STATES

The White House condemned the violence, saying it will only make it more difficult for Egypt to move forward.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the violence runs counter to the pledges made by Egypt’s interim government. He said the “world is watching” what is happening in Cairo and urged restraint.

The Obama administration has avoided making a determination on whether Morsi’s ouster was a coup.

TURKEY

Turkey’s government, which has been consistently critical of the military-backed ouster of Morsi, harshly criticized the crackdown. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office called the violence “a serious blow to the hopes of a return to democracy.” It also blamed other unnamed countries for encouraging the government after Morsi’s ouster on July 3.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul warned that Egypt could descend into chaos, comparing the clashes to the crackdown in Syria that precipitated a civil war.

Turkey itself has been criticized in recent months for heavy-handed police tactics in clamping down on protests against Erdogan’s government that included firing tear gas canisters directly at protesters.

Hundreds of Turks in Ankara and Istanbul protested against the crackdown in Egypt.

UNITED NATIONS

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon denounced the violence and called on all sides to reconsider their actions in light of new political realities and the need to prevent further loss of life.

Ban said he regrets that Egyptian authorities chose to use force to respond to the demonstrations and is “well aware that the vast majority of the Egyptian people want their country to go forward peacefully in an Egyptian-led process towards prosperity and democracy,” according to a statement from his office.

Ban urged all Egyptians to focus on reconciliation, the statement said, because he believes that “violence and incitement from any side are not the answers to the challenges Egypt faces.”

GERMANY

German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, said the government was “extremely worried” about the “very dangerous” escalation of violence, indirectly criticizing the leadership for its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood while at the same time urging an end to violence.

“We expect from the transitional government and the Egyptian authorities that they allow peaceful demonstrations just as we expect from the other political forces that they distance themselves clearly from violence, that they don’t demand violence and don’t act violently.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the “decisive principle” must be “that the human rights of all Egyptians, independent of their political direction and conviction, have to be respected and protected.”

JORDAN

Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood has urged its Egyptian peers to continue protests, saying their victory will help the fundamentalist group rise to power elsewhere in the Arab world.

The Brotherhood’s political arm, the Islamic Action Front, also warned Egypt’s military rulers they have fallen into a “conspiracy” hatched by the U.S. and Israel to weaken Muslims.

“Today is your day, and upon its outcome, the future of Egypt, Arabs and Muslims will be determined,” according to a statement issued before Brotherhood activists staged a protest outside the Egyptian Embassy in Amman.

The protesters rebuked Egypt’s military rulers as a “tool for corrupt and tyrant military regimes.”

BRITAIN

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the violence is “not going to solve anything.”

“What is required in Egypt is a genuine transition to a genuine democracy. That means compromise from all sides – the President Morsi supporters but also the military – that’s what needs to happen,” he said.

“We don’t support this violence, we condemn it completely, it’s not going to solve the problems.”

Cameron added that he was sorry to hear about the death of Sky news cameraman Mick Deane in the violence, saying his thoughts are with Deane’s family and friends.

“It is an incredibly brave and important job he was doing. It is essential that cameramen are in places like Egypt because otherwise none of us would know what is happening.”

IRAN

Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned the crackdown, warning the violence “strengthens the possibility of civil war.”

“While denouncing the violent crackdown and condemning the massacre of the people, it expresses its deep concern regarding the undesirable consequences” of the events, the ministry said in a statement.

ITALY

Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino appealed to all sides in Egypt to do what they can to immediately stop the explosion of violence and “avoid a bloodbath.”

Bonino expressed deep sorrow for the loss of human lives.

“I had expressed the hope that the squares with the sit-ins be emptied” through an agreement among all sides, and “not with the intervention of police forces, which doesn’t help the search for a solution to the political crisis,” Bonino said.

She added that it was essential that security forces “exercise maximum self-control; likewise, everyone must avoid every incitement to violence.” Bonino renewed an appeal for the resumption of a “process of national dialogue.”

  • Bala R

    Nigeria 2015.

    • Efe1

      I agree with you! I am seriously tired of having mediocre as my leaders. If the election is free and fare, no yawa, but any magomago capable of changing the result will be met with total disorder.

  • wahab

    Up Democratic soldiers.

    Now that soldiers are beginning to show their true agenda and colour and
    with over 200 dead, all the nit-twits who gave intellectual munitions
    and rationalisation for Morsi’s ouster because his government tended
    towards implementing pro-Muslim brotherhood laws and policies must at
    least be happy now.

    In their equation, a military government that murders
    protesters sitting in over a copu against a democratically elected
    President is better than a pro-Muslim Brotherhood Morsi.

    I posted below a month ago, recalling the possibility of the bloody conflict in Algeria over a similar development.

    And now this as the whole of the so-called Western democracies sheds
    their crocodile tears about democracy, transition, reconciliation and
    respect for woman (human) rights.

    Wahab

    Egypt:Are
    demonstrations – not elections, not impeachment- backed by an ultimatum from
    soldiers the path to oust an elected president?

    As the world and an acquiescing West watches the macabre dance in Egypt-in a queer
    embrace between purveyors of mob democracy and the remnants of
    Mubarak s military, -all to tame Islamic Brotherhood, Egypt Arab world most
    promising democracy, could have begun its descent into a bitter long and costly
    civil war.

    A government was elected for a fixed term, mid-way into the term, some loosers in that election began a sit in at Tahir Square, claiming Morsi has not delivered the dividends of
    democracy in 2 years; that he is autocratic, and is not broad based enough and
    has not accommodated other interests in the country.

    Now, why can’t the mob wait till the next round of election and use their votes
    to push out Morsi? Just why? Why must they leverage on soldiers to push out an
    elected President?

    Why must the world support a military coup against elected officials, even if
    those officials are Talibans, al-Queda or Islamic Brotherhood members?

    There has been no allegation that Morsi rigged the election, that he was
    corrupt or that he was murdering his own people.

    If his offense is that he is pandering towards the Muslim Brotherhood,
    they formed the bulk of those that voted him to power. So let those opposed to
    him ORGANISE and throw him out of power. Period.

    If the remnants of the Mubarak forces and so called liberal elements–are in
    the majority, why can t they push Morsi out at election, impeach him or force a
    referendum, just anything that is democratic.

    The developments in Egypt is dangerous for democracy, if there is anything like
    that.

    If we are to domesticate this, all that is needed to oust – say a Fashola (
    Lagos state Governor, Nigeria) or Oshiomhole (Edo state Governor, Nigeria)is
    for about 1 million Lagosians and about 500,000 Benin inhabitants
    to take to the streets for two weeks, haul all manners allegations against
    Fashola or Oshiomhole.

    Then from no where, some soldiers– whose utterances are reeking of alcohol,
    will now haul some ultimatum at Fashola or Oshiomhole to negotiate with those
    demonstrators or face sack in 48 hours?

    I ask you all, is that the definition of democracy that we all know, read about
    or dream for? Or are all doing the ostrich, just because Morsi is a member of
    the Islamic Brotherhood?

    We may all have forgotten, but remember Hamas and its electoral victory in a
    part of Palestine and its consequences. The story was not far from the
    inconclusive elections in Algeria over 20 years ago. We are all living
    witnesses to their consequences.

    The bell tolls, not for Morsi nor even the Islamic Brotherhood, it tolls for
    democracy and the right to CHOOSE.

    Wahab Gbadamosi

    Nigeria

    How Egypt’s Turmoil Echoes
    Algeria’s Bloody Civil War

    By Vivienne Walt @vivwaltJuly 08,
    201319 Comments

    Yuri
    Kozyrev / NOOR for TIME

    Protesters
    with soldiers on top of armored vehicles drive through the 6th October Bridge
    during clashes in Cairo on July 5, 2013

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    Millions
    of voters elected an Islamic political party to run the country, but the
    military stepped in, forced out the winners of the election and handpicked a
    group of politicians in their place. No, this is not Egypt in 2013. It was
    Algeria in 1992. And in the eyes of some, the bloodshed that followed that
    fateful Algerian decision 21 years ago offers sobering lessons for the generals
    in Cairo, who forcibly removed President Mohamed Morsi from office on
    Wednesday, one year after he’d won a democratic election, igniting violent
    street fighting between members of his Muslim Brotherhood and the massed ranks
    of protesters that had pushed for his ouster. “There is indeed a
    similarity,” Faycal Metaoui, a political columnist for Algeria’s al-Watan
    newspaper, told TIME on Sunday, adding that Algerians had been gripped by the
    news from Egypt playing on satellite networks all week. “In both countries, the
    army arrested a political process involving Islamists.”

    The
    history of the two desert countries along North Africa’s Mediterranean coast
    has many differences, of course. Algerians fought a brutal war against French
    colonial rule, which ended with independence in 1962. As the victors, the
    main revolutionary movement — the National Liberation Front or FLN — has
    dominated political power ever since. Egypt emerged from underneath
    Britain’s suzerainty decades earlier and by the 1950s was in the midst of its
    own revolution, having deposed the country’s King and installed one of the coup
    leaders, the populist military man Gamal Abdel Nasser, as President.

    (MORE: The
    Muslim Brotherhood’s Outrage: Protests and Gunfire Follow Morsi’s Ousting)

    Yet for
    all the divergences, Algeria’s more recent conflict offers some chilling
    parallels, and began when the Algerian constitution was amended to allow
    political parties other than the FLN to contest elections — not unlike the
    tumultuous political scramble that has played out in Egypt during the past two
    years. In December 1991, an Algerian political party called the Islamic
    Salvation Front, or FIS, which had formed just two years earlier with a
    platform based on the Muslim faith, swept the first round of parliamentary
    elections and looked certain to clinch an all-out majority in the second round
    weeks later. The second vote never took place, however. In between, Algeria’s
    generals stepped in, dissolved Parliament and banned the popular FIS — and as
    Egyptian security forces gun down Muslim Brotherhood supporters and occupy the
    headquarters of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s
    political party, there are real causes for concern.

    That move
    in 1992 sparked eight years of brutal civil war in Algeria. With Islamic
    politics banned, a militant insurgency quickly formed, led by the Armed Islamic
    Group — the forerunner to today’s al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, whose
    affiliated militias seized a huge swath of neighboring Mali last year. About
    200,000 Algerians are believed to have been killed in the 1990s war, many of
    them in horrific massacres, as the Islamist groups split into different
    factions, some intensely militant, with killings both among themselves and
    against the military; foreigners were also targets for assassination, and as
    Westerners fled en masse, Algeria’s economy plummeted. The exhausted foes
    finally called a truce in 1999 under President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still
    rules Algeria.

    Traveling
    in Algeria earlier this year, I met many who said the country had never
    recovered from the trauma of what they called the “dark years” — and that
    people had little appetite to join the ranks of the Arab Spring like their
    fellow North Africans in Tunisia and Egypt, since they feared another civil war
    and were all too aware of the military’s ability to dominate the political
    process. “There is a feeling of resignation within the population,” Mostefa Bouchachi,
    an opposition member of Parliament, told me in Algiers in January. “It was easy
    for Egyptians to go into the streets [during the 2011 revolution] and say,
    ‘Mubarak get out!’” Bouchachi said. “If you did that here, they would bring 20
    other Bouteflikas.”

    (PHOTOS: Egyptians Protest the Rule of
    Morsi, Celebrate Ouster)

    Watching
    events in Egypt from afar this past week, Algerians have been bitterly divided
    over the military’s actions, seeing in them echoes of their own experience. One
    possible echo is that Egypt’s military said it was answering the massive appeal
    for Morsi’s removal, organized in part by the new Tamarod movement, a huge
    grassroots campaign that gathered some 2 million signatures to demand the
    President’s ouster. That, says Metaoui, the newspaper columnist, is similar to
    the Algerian committee of officials in 1992 that called on the military to
    “save the Republic,” by banning the Islamist FIS party.

    If there
    are lessons to be learned from Algeria, Metaoui says, it is that both sides
    need to step back and refrain from escalating the bitterness — something
    Algerians failed to do. “Part of the FIS militants took up arms to defend what
    they called ‘the people’s choice,’” he says. “Algeria recorded heavy human and
    economic losses.”

    Even the
    Algerian veterans of that 1990s war were prompted to offer some words of wisdom
    to Egyptians this week. “The Muslim Brotherhood must use a peaceful way to
    respond to the military coup against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi,” Madani
    Mezrag, the former leader of the now disbanded Islamic Salvation Army, the
    armed wing of the FIS, who negotiated an amnesty from prosecution under a
    cease-fire agreement, told the
    Algerian new
    site Echorouk on Friday. “They must not allow anyone to get Egypt involved
    in a civil war.” A look at the region’s war-torn history offers a good reason
    to back up that argument.

    MORE: Egypt:
    Should We Cheer the People or Weep for Democracy?

    Vivienne Walt @vivwalt

    Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/07/08/how-egypts-turmoil-echoes-algerias-bloody-civil-war/#ixzz2YWlDSaXW

    Op-Ed Columnist

    Egypt at the Edge

    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    In every
    civil war there is a moment before all hell breaks loose when there is still a
    chance to prevent a total descent into the abyss. Egypt is at that moment.

    Josh Haner/The New York
    Times

    Thomas L.
    Friedman

    The Muslim
    holy month of Ramadan starts this week, and it can’t come too soon. One can
    only hope that the traditional time for getting family and friends together
    will provide a moment for all the actors in Egypt to reflect on how badly
    they’ve behaved — all sides — and opt for the only sensible pathway forward:
    national reconciliation. I was a student at the American University in Cairo in
    the early 1970s and have been a regular visitor since. I’ve never witnessed the
    depth of hatred that has infected Egypt in recent months: Muslim Brotherhood
    activists throwing a young opponent off a roof; anti-Islamist activists on
    Twitter praising the Egyptian army for mercilessly gunning down supporters of
    the Brotherhood in prayer. In the wake of all this violent turmoil, it is no
    longer who rules Egypt that it is at stake. It is Egypt that is at stake. This
    is an existential crisis.

    Can Egypt
    hold together and move forward as a unified country or will it be torn asunder
    by its own people, like Syria? Nothing is more important in the Middle East
    today, because when the stability of modern Egypt is at stake — sitting as it
    does astride the Suez Canal, the linchpin of any Arab peace with Israel and
    knitting together North Africa, Africa and the Middle East — the stability of
    the whole region is at stake.

    I appreciate
    the anger of non-Islamist, secular and liberal Egyptians with President Mohamed
    Morsi. He never would have become president without their votes, but, once in
    office, instead of being inclusive, at every turn he grabbed for more power.
    With Egypt’s economy in a tailspin, I also appreciate the impatience of many
    Egyptians with Morsi’s rule. But in the Arab world’s long transition to
    democracy, something valuable was lost when the military ousted Morsi’s
    government and did not wait for the Egyptian people to do it in October’s
    parliamentary elections or the presidential elections three years down the
    road. It gives the Muslim Brothers a perfect excuse not to reflect on their
    mistakes and change, which is an essential ingredient for Egypt to build a
    stable political center.

    But Egypt’s
    non-Islamists, secular and liberal groups need to get their act together, too.
    The Egyptian opposition has been great at mobilizing protests but incapable of
    coalescing around a single leader’s agenda, while the Brotherhood has been
    great at winning elections but incapable of governing.

    So now there
    is only one way for Egypt to avoid the abyss: the military, the only authority
    in Egypt today, has to make clear that it ousted the Muslim Brotherhood for the
    purpose of a “reset,” not for the purposes of “revenge” — for the purpose of
    starting over and getting the transition to democracy right this time, not for
    the purpose of eliminating the Brotherhood from politics. (It is not clear that
    the “interim constitution” issued Tuesday by Egypt’s
    transitional government will give the Brotherhood a fair shot at contesting
    power. It bans parties based on religion, but that ban was in place under Hosni
    Mubarak, and the Brotherhood got around it by running as independents.) Egypt
    will not be stable if the Brotherhood is excluded.

    Dalia
    Mogahed, the C.E.O. of Mogahed Consulting and a longtime pollster in the Middle
    East, remarked to me that the original 2011 revolution that overthrew Mubarak
    was mounted by “young people, leftists, liberals, Islamists, united for a
    better future. The division was between those revolutionaries and the status
    quo. The revolution wasn’t owned by the secularists or the liberals or the
    Islamists. That’s why it worked.” Democracy in Egypt “only has a chance when revolutionaries
    again see the status quo as their enemy, not each other.”

    She is
    right: Muslim Brothers can kill more secularists; the military can kill more
    Muslim Brothers; but another decade of the status quo in Egypt will kill them
    all. The country will be a human development disaster. With the absence of a
    true party of reform — that blends respect for religion with a strategy of
    modernization as the great 19th-century Egyptian reformers did — Egyptians
    today are being forced to choose not a better way, but between bad ideas.

    The
    Brotherhood posits that “Islam is the answer.” The military favors a return to
    the deep state of old. But more religion alone is not the answer for Egypt
    today and while the military-dominated deep state may provide law and order and
    keep Islamists down, it can’t provide the kind of fresh thinking and
    educational, entrepreneurial, social and legal reforms needed to empower and
    unleash Egypt’s considerable human talent and brainpower. In truth, the 2002
    U.N. Arab Human Development Report is the answer, which, by the way, was mostly
    written by Egyptian scholars. It called on Egyptians to focus on building a
    politics that can overcome their debilitating deficits of freedom, education
    and women’s empowerment. That is the pathway Egypt needs to pursue — not
    Mubarakism, Morsi-ism or military rule — and the job of Egypt’s friends now is
    not to cut off aid and censure, but to help it gradually but steadily find that
    moderate path.

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