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Can Mubarak survive?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 12:08 UK time, Monday, 31 January 2011

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is trying to reassert his control by offering talks with opposition groups and instructing his new cabinet to tackle corruption, maintain economic subsidies and move towards political reform.



Should the protestors compromise their demands for the sake of peace? Will this be enough to keep President Mubarak in power?

And how will what is happening in north Africa affect sub-saharan African?

Join the debate here on the Africa Have Your Say at 1600 GMT on 1st February . If you would like to take part in the programme please leave your number


  • Comment number 1.

    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak cannot survive the protest by the people of Egypt. Having been in power for 30 years it is quite clear that he has failed to improve the people lives and has failed with enabling political reforms in Eqypt. Mr. Mubarak should not be allowed to survive as he represents the problem with African leaders (Ivory Coast, Robert Mugabe). He should be held to account and made an example off.

  • Comment number 2.

    Once the initial euphoria of protests and standing up against the regime dies down the people are faced with new challenges which may sometimes make life harder. It is then that extremists and dissidents start taking control and the country is pushed to civil war and sectarians violence; bringing the country close to the brink of disintegration.

  • Comment number 3.

    It is high time all dictators of africa are kicked off. they have not been able to satisfy the people, rather they have amass wealth to the extend that they do not even know their accounts again. if for over 25years in power and people are complaining then the agreement between 'state and citizen' according to Bary Buzan, has failed, and there is every reason for the people to revolt and change that government. every dictator in africa should be ready to face the music that started in Tunisia, and is being played in Egypt.a new dawn for africa is now...

  • Comment number 4.

    It is a shame that many African leaders never know when enough is enough for them. Obviously the people of Egypt has had enough - 30 years is enough! I do hope that he will give his brother Gbagbo a call so both of them can take a long trip out of the continent.

    As a people, we need to move forward, we can no longer let a select few hold us to ransom under a carefully choreographed illusion of democracy. Let this serve as a very intense warning to all power hungry African leaders. They should take note and start packing their bags because we cannot take anymore!

  • Comment number 5.

    As an African, history recalled that African leader all believed in autocratic system of government where the wealth of the state will be manage by an individual leader as at today the situation is not the same as a reasult of world civilization in governance (democracy) which was being preached by the west (American& Europe) while this was seen by some African leaders as a threat to their kingdom. wether husni mubaraq like it or not the respect of presidency can not be the same while he remains as the ruler even with the large population of sympatizer he has because egyptians are no longer interested in his rulership again which if care is not taking it can lead to civil war. by and large, the unrest political situation in egypt will one way or the other affect some other African countries either economically or diplomatically and it will reduce the ties between egypt and other nations.

  • Comment number 6.

    Will African leaders learn? I DOUBT....WANNA BET?

    Every good dancer must know when to exit the stage than dance themselves silly! Lets review three "comical" issues:

    1. Museveni (who incidentally is running for re-SELECTION)finds the Ivory Coast crisis unfairly treating Mr. Laurent Gbagbo. Guess what? The whole world is MAD and though the people have spoken, Museveni and the AU circus think pussy footing will wish away this act of impunity. Mark you; there are several elections due in Africa 2011. Do you see a pattern here of A RARE HONOR AMONG "THIEVES?"

    2. The Kenyan question and actual march to implement the constitution seems all talk! Where a citizenry voted for this new contract between themselves and how they will be governed; the ruling principles continue to treat the country like their personal kitchen garden where they can walk in and at their own whim...do as they want. The tribal card being played with every single appointment by the principals is sickening! Any lesson to learn from Kenya in 2007/2008?
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    3. For those who cared to listen when the Iran issue came to light and for those who cared to listen and NOT THROW shoes at President Bush, from as far back as 2003, what we are witnessing in Egypt and Tunisia/ Iran came to float. My point being....THE LEADERS SIMPLY NEVER LEARN! Too much time is spent sweeping issues under the carpet.

    There is a common pattern here across Africa, where the African Big Man syndrome exhales unchallenged...or seemingly so! This is not about generational change, it is about a people well aware of their rights, aware of the huge tax bill they pay and funds are looted to cushion the lavish lifestyle of concubines and mistresses...yet the Museveni & the A.U. Circus troop want to extend their stay in town even though they are no longer "funny". [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 7.

    It would not be easy for Mubarak to hold power for long as Egyptians would only be appease if only he steps aside. Even offers advanced by Mubarak which were not available before and are rejected are indicative of the desperation of Egyptians to see him exit.
    A warning to especially African leaders, you can only rule your people with iron hands some of the time but not always all the time.
    Dunkwa Jabpotin,

  • Comment number 8.

    i think Mubarak will not survive. this will expand all over the middle east and Africa which will lead the rise of Islamic party.so, it is getting harder and harder for middle east peace process specially for Israel and west.

  • Comment number 9.

    Mubarak should call for a General election, that includes for his positions. If elected, Mubarak survives legitimately. In Kenya, Arap Moi did it Won elections twice, In Uganda, Museveni will win again this year... The protests highlights the views of discontent, in the ballot, the views of contentment are also heard!

  • Comment number 10.

    Right now Mubarak is like a tired deer cornered inside a cave by a prowling lioness hunting for her cubs, he is standing dazed with fear. Even though the door is closing fast these Dictators have a knack for survival. Mubarak loves power and to give it up is like committing suicide. So what options does he have: hold on like you will never let the reins go. The people have to snatch it away from him, in the same manner as natural survival of the fittest.

  • Comment number 11.

    I doubt that what is happening in North Africa will have much impact on sub-Saharan Africa. To begin with, the socio-political dynamics in both regions are different: North Africans have always tolerated their rulers in return for guarantees of basic living standards. Admittedly, these have not always been available to everyone, but comparatively speaking, they've always been better off than their southern brethren. Which explains why the Tunisians wasted no time to revolt once that "contract" was breached by their ruler. You could say the same about Egypt. Indeed, this explains why a revolution is unlikely in Libya, where living standards are even higher.

    In much of sub-Saharan Africa, such a "contract" has never really existed. Indeed, we tend to believe that our countries' resources belong to our rulers to do with as they please. And because they tend to look after the security forces (other than the police, who have a licence to extort bribes from innocent people), these forces (most of whom are generally barely literate and ill-trained - and therefore less disciplined than their North African colleagues) can often be relied upon to act with maximum brutality against the people, whom they understandably regard as a threat to their own interests and privileges. Thus, although our southern rulers have behaved more deplorably than Mubarak or Ben Ali, and although our living standards are much lower than those of our northern brethren, we're unlikely to have a revolution any time soon.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think Mubarak will survive from this uprising as the army has been running the show over the last 60 years. It appears that Mubarak and his old associates are just buying more time and waiting that foreigners be evacuated within 1-2 weeks…. “An orderly transition means keep the status quo".By Mohamoud Affi

  • Comment number 13.

    Thank BBC for cerating this chance where we can share for the press everywhere is censored.When the 1789 and 1848 revolutions visited Europe, they parted with all what they came for.Though Mubarak can now survive,deep in his mind this experience has shown him that it doesnot take long for an iroko tree to touch the ground if the wind decides.Infact,African presidents are too heady and think that appeasing the judiciary and military or western tycoons is enough guaranttee for them to be in power.All presidents who are more than 15 years in power are tyrants who give corrupted reports to the west and UN,USA.Long live,Lybia,Zimbabwe,Cameroon,Equatorial Guinea,Chad,etc.The river must run North to South,gathering tributaries from west and east and bury all in the deep ocean together with all offsprings

  • Comment number 14.

    My sincere advice to both the UN,USA and the West is that I encourage your stand in relation to the crisis in Egypt and Tunisia.The truth is that, African leaders often give you guys manipulated reports to pretend all is well and good.They don't even know the meaning of democracy.It is good you are seeing by yourselves.You opened your eyes and conducted a referandum in South Sudan and they voted yes.If Khartum was allowed to do so the results would have been infavor or unity,same with Ivory Coast just because you were they, the opposition won.Please why not open your eyes on all who have served for more than 20 years in Africa(when the French,USA,Bristih ruling present leaders where still in primary schools and are today presidents with the same poeple)Instead of spending your money to fight world recession, will you continue to feed only Africa for decades with aides that are misused by presidents who lived luxurous lives than you who give them money?Come to Africa and listen to the common man and we are ready to help send away all the tyrants.All presidents above 20 years in power must go and so shall their inlaws, wealth.Thank God the West begins to see.

  • Comment number 15.

    Mubarak is not going to survive this one no matter what! What we are witnessing in Egypt is people's power- This is the mother of all revolutions that has rendered US military and financial might obsolete. All the USAid, about 2 billion a year was handed over to Mubarak to literally suppress the Egyptian people. Demonstrators were being attacked by "Made in USA" tear gas and bullets not to mention the tanks and the F-16 military jets that were showing off on the air to intimidate the protesters. This strategy is laid so that the US maintains its grip on the region and sustain the supremacy of its baby (Israel) The Egyptian uprising has exposed western hypocrisy big time. The idea of democracy is only applicable with the blessing of big powers and the type of democracy has to be approved by them- so much for universal value of democracy! Alas, the people of Egypt are speaking loud and clear. After 30 years of oppression they want the Mubarak regime out. Notice the scaremongering is coming tick and fast as who would take over. Leave that to the Egyptian people, let them choose how to be governed. This "we know better than you" attitude has to stop. The tide of change that has began in Tunisia is just the beginning. Next.....

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    I think the Egyptians must be very very careful with the fact that the military publicly renounced not to use violence againgst them. This might be a trap, a way to abruptly put an end to the revolution given that Mubarak continues to appointment a military cabinet and the military are already in strategic positions in town.So let it not be a camouflage on the part of the army to reduce the strength of the revolution.So take care.On the part of those who see M. Elbaradei as a stranger in Egypt atfer his long absence, that is a mistake. He came by himself from the start of the revolution and has long been an opposition to Mubarak.He was able to work for UN that is made up of more than 180 countries what then of a small Egypt to him.After 30 yrs, lets change stretgists and see which one shall finally pay.

  • Comment number 18.

    As is my conviction, military revolt is not the way to topple a government especially those believed to have brought independence to the country, this form of coupe just worsens the socio-economic stability of the country, bringing in even tougher military, oppressive and corrupt regimes. The masses make up a country and they are the ones who decide who should or should not lead the country (according to their own interests). Indeed, it is high time Africa learns that we are legging behind because of these terrible leaders hiding behind liberation amnesty; yes you helped bring Independence to our countries, but should our gratitude be perpetual and accept autocracy and dictatorship in return? I am sorry, i'd rather have colonialism back.
    Now he is in talks with the oposition and form a new cabinet demanding tackling wide spread government corruption and political reform to make peace with the protesters; oh my God, what has he been doing for the past 30 years? You mean to tell me that 30 years was not enough to curb corruption and institute political reform? This is just a move to help him stay in power until his death and be replaced by someone of his own choice (nepotism).
    The problem with this type of presidential reactional behavior is that they tend to become complacent and breeding an even tougher regime to make sure that no such dissatisfaction is ever expressed freely.
    The people should not budge, he must just go. However another problem emerges, usually when governments are brought down by the people, there tend to be opportunistic movements that are politically well organised which mission is never very clear (in Egipt's case the Muslim brotherhood), it is much easier if the people has a prominent leader that they trust to be their next leader not forgetting that a certain level of political knowhow should be attached or at least form a cabinet with experienced officials on various fields.

  • Comment number 19.

    Mubarak has been an alie of the US and all those who take orders from the west should fall down.The wind of change is blowing and sweeping through the corridors of power.Those who believed that they are the best earthly citizens,your power is at peril now.To equate whats happening in north africa with the rest of africa is a mishape.The likes of mugabe are baked by us the people and the media through their backers are used as a machination to spread falsehoods about regime change.Mubarak should go

  • Comment number 20.

    I cannot seem to understand what the fuss is all about on AHYS.
    Egypt is primarily an Arab nation and it is a mere geographic expression on the continent of Africa.
    Egyptians do not identity as or with sub-Saharan (majority of Africans) Africans.
    However, Egypt’s Mubarak must realise the masses are fatigued of him and his repressive 30-year rule.
    Oh, one more thing Mr. [has been] Mubarak, democracy is by the people and for the people.

  • Comment number 21.

    You see in life as they say no empire last for ever because we are not God, but when an Individual think he or she has the monoply of power over the people he rule thats is only for some time, which is desirable for him to do his or her best and leave the scene when the ovation is loud and clear, but when the reverse is the case thats what the president of Mubarak is face as a person and as an individual. But i know that African leader are mostly deft and because of greed of power they have acquired and are reluctant to let go off such power, which most of the time result to their shameful exist.Just also look at what is happening in Ivory Coast when there is two president in one country. These are sad storey to tell about African leaders. I dont see this kind of issues happening in Nigeria because you would be force out by force(military coup) if you want to be in power for even 10year and not to talk of 30years. Mubarak be a wise man!!!

  • Comment number 22.

    Hello.. I’m Egyptian living in Kenya, i would like to share my thoughts with you. Mubarak could end all of this mess if he just left the presidency, anywhere else respect the people ‘voice. But in Egypt he doesn’t hear any other voice but himself. We’re feeling so sad for everybody in Egypt. They cut internet for many days now, mobile phones for some time and that means that they don’t respect the humanity of Egyptian people. Of course this will affect the Egyptian economy and people salaries. They have the right to have the facilities to say their opinions worldwide with real freedom.

  • Comment number 23.

    This is Africa. Just look at what's happening in Ivory Coast, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda - Kenya rallying African nations to embrace impunity. And we think these leaders have our best interests at heart? The sad truth is that they do not; so guess what, it is highly likely that Mubarak may survive this. African leaders think its ok to cling onto power forever and run the governments like their own kitchens. But the people who really go wrong are we the voters - because we keep re-electing them! I am Kenyan and I can tell you that what is happening in my country, in neighboring Uganda, around the continent, is sad. We only with the Egyptian people well.

  • Comment number 24.

    If the Egyptians keep up the pressure and demand Mubarak's exit and not be diverted by "talks" and "reshuffles", there's no chance of him holding on to power. He is now doing what he should have done much earlier. 30 years of autocratic rule is more than enough to let a leader see himself in the eyes of those he leads!

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    I was barely completing my secondary education when he came to power. I am now greying all over. Anyone heard of the 'law of diminishing returns'? I think it's a natural course of history.

  • Comment number 27.

    The people of Egypt must decide who rules them but I am personally against the position of the Muslim Brotherhood because they want to unseat this President Mubarak.
    The President must remember however that he is not the only person capable to lead the nation. He must listen to the voice of the masses now.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    It is time for Mubarak to go. No need of forcing himself on the Egyptains. You came from the people and they are saying go, why not pack and leave instead of embarrassing your children and tarnishing their future records?

  • Comment number 30.

    the recent situation in egypt in relation to what happened in ivory caost and turky,is like a triger which might also take place across africa.especialy countries whose leaders tends to be authocratic

  • Comment number 31.

    My words to all Egyptians at this moment is 'It is either now or never' Their failure to actualise their mission to send Mubarak away will give birth to more power for him. No organisation or international body will exercise any sanction that can affect him as a person.Only innocent Egyptians will eat the bitter cake because where two elephants fight,the grass in the vicinity suffers.I hope the people can endure the present agony to the end in order for victory to be ascertained.
    I wonder most times why African leaders often refuse to leave the political throne when the subjects are vehemently saying NO to the leadership.All what they need at the moment is consolidation of the struggle,otherwise they are back to the disgusting mud of Mubarak leadership.

  • Comment number 32.

    This is a dilemma for Mubarak who wishes he was asleep and dream about a new Egypt without him, but he is afraid that if he goes to sleep he might never wake up to see a liberated Egypt.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    Mubarak has been out of touch with the pain and suffering his regime has inflicted on his people for thirty years. Talking about reforms, political and social is now too late. He should really go!
    The people of Egypt should not compromise their Intifada, should protect it and be vigilant not to be stolen from them by political tactics (such as re-shuffling the government, buying time etc..) aimed at crushing it.
    As for the shape of sub-saharan Africa, a new equation can be written. It is all give-and-take in politics.
    Stability-claimed by Mubarak- versus creating a democratic society - denied by him- is a complete farce. Just look all over the developed world to prove this claim wrong.

  • Comment number 36.

    During the first seven days of the demonstrations I thought Mubarak was gone. But what he has done during the past two days, bringing out his supporters to fight protestors, I don’t know if any man born of a woman can ouster this guy. In order to save face he claims that he will serve the rest of his term and not run for re-election. Perfect for now, as far as I am concerned he has hanged himself by his own rope from future political office. Also he believes that all the people in Egypt gave him a full term, so what do I recommend. Give him until September while other political movements get organized and run for office, then take power by the ballot in free and fair election. Of course I am dreaming thinking that elections there would be free and fair.

  • Comment number 37.


  • Comment number 38.

    Mubarak, do you want more lives to be lost before you go? There are innocent souls perishing and you do not seem to care. Do you think Ben Ali was a fool? Tell your people that you are sorry for not being a father all this while. You cannot be a good father now if you have'nt been through out thirty years in power.Alow the youths to grow please. Just go. The people will ensure safe transition.
    What is wrong with today's African Heads of state?
    Mubarak, your presidency has been taken from you because you have not fed God's people and tret them justly.

  • Comment number 39.

    Not a chance! Mubarak can reduce the crimes that could be filed against him by exiting soon enough before the Alarm clock sounds off. He can avoid the Ceausescu’s Rumanian 1989 incident by handing over the power to the opposition soon, because nobody can predict the direction and magnitude of a “Volcanic eruption". In the case of Egypt and many other suppressed and oppressed people, they may have been playing dead/ loyal/fearful, but once the level reaches the brim of human tolerance the inevitable takes place. Every dictator may think that their situation is more unique than others are in order to help them extend their regime's life expectancy, but the fact of the matter is that human beings, regardless of their color, race, religion, ethnicity or national origin, do deserve the OPPORTUNITY TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND YES, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.Thanks


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