Egypt crisis: Morsi supporters gather for protests

 

Mr Mansour praised the armed forces and the Egyptian people

Supporters of Egypt's ousted president are gathering for protests in the capital to demand his reinstatement.

The army, which removed Mr Morsi and detained him in response to widespread unrest, has said it will allowed peaceful protests.

Adly Mahmud Mansour, the top judge of the constitutional court, is now Egypt's interim leader and has promised that elections will take place soon.

The African Union has announced it will suspend Egypt from all activities.

Admore Kambudzi, secretary of the body's Peace and Security Council, said the move was being taken in line with AU policy "until the restoration of constitutional order".

Start Quote

A couple of months ago, people were sceptical of the army. However, we have now seen our faith restored ”

End Quote Reem Shalan Cairo
Clashes

The removal of Mr Morsi by the army followed days of mass protests, largely organised by the Tamarod [Rebel] movement.

The protesters accused Mr Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood - the Islamist group of which he is a member - of pursuing an Islamist agenda against the wishes of the majority, and of failing to tackle economic problems.

Mr Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader, is in detention, as are senior figures in the Brotherhood. Arrests warrants have been issued for some 300 others.

Mohamed ElBaradei: "We were between a rock and a hard place"

The army command has said it will not take "arbitrary measures against any faction or political current" and would guarantee the right to protest, as long as demonstrations did not threaten national security.

"Peaceful protest and freedom of expression are rights guaranteed to everyone, which Egyptians have earned as one of the most important gains of their glorious revolution," it said.

But Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad said the movement was refusing to co-operate with the new leadership and demanded the immediate release of those detained.

At his news conference on Thursday, he said the Brotherhood would take part in "peaceful, people-led protest".

Mohamed Soudan, foreign relations secretary for the Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said the army action and the arrests were moving Egypt "back to the dictatorship regime".

Army's post-Morsi roadmap

Morsi supporters in Cairo (5 July 2013)
  • Constitution to be suspended temporarily and interim president sworn in
  • "Strong and competent" civilian technocratic government to be installed
  • Supreme Court to pass a draft law on parliamentary election and prepare for parliamentary and presidential polls
  • "Charter of honour" to be drawn up and followed by the media
  • Measures taken to empower young people and a national reconciliation committee to be formed

Thousands of Brotherhood supporters have been camped outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, vowing to stage a "Day of Rejection".

"We came from all of Egypt for one goal only, to return the democratically elected president to the palace," said one man.

The BBC's Rana Jawad in Cairo says some have been calling for the execution of Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief who announced the ousting of Mr Morsi.

Tanks and military personnel have been deployed to potential flashpoints in the capital and the mood is tense, says our correspondent.

On Friday, troops were deployed in Mr Morsi's hometown of Zagazig, in Shariqiya province, after rival protesters clashed. The health ministry said 80 people had been injured.

Some 50 people have died since the latest unrest began on Sunday.

Mohamed ElBaradei - a leading opposition figure who backed the overthrow of Mr Morsi - said the army's intervention had been "painful" but was on behalf of the people and ultimately averted civil war.

"Mr Morsi unfortunately undermined his own legitimacy," he told the BBC.

He said elections would be held within a year at the most as the army had no intention of ruling.

He had urged the military to treat Mr Morsi with "full dignity as a former president", he said, and hoped detained Muslim Brotherhood members would be released.

Egypt's revolution - key events

  • 11 February 2011 - Hosni Mubarak resigns as president after two weeks of massive street protests and violent clashes
  • January 2012 - Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party wins parliamentary elections with almost half of the vote
  • June 2012 - Mohammed Morsi becomes Egypt's first freely elected president
  • 22 November 2012 - Mr Morsi issues a controversial decree granting himself extensive powers - after angry protests, he eventually rescinds most of it
  • 3 July 2013 - The army suspends the constitution and removes Mr Morsi from power

Mr Mansour was sworn in as interim head of state on Thursday, vowing to safeguard "the spirit of the revolution" which had removed Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011.

He has invited the Brotherhood "to participate in building the nation".

The army's roadmap for the post-Morsi era includes:

  • Suspension of the constitution
  • A civilian, transitional technocratic government
  • Supreme constitutional court to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections
  • A "charter of honour" to be drawn up and followed by national media

Early on Friday, one soldier was reported killed after Islamist militants attacked military and police checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula with rockets and mortar fire.

Security checkpoints at al-Arish airport, near the border with Israel and the Gaza Strip, and a police station in Rafah were targeted, officials said.

Sinai has seen a series of militant attacks on security installations and oil pipelines over the past two years, and it is unclear whether the latest attacks are linked to the political upheaval.

Bowen: Egypt's failed democratic experiment

Gardner: Dangerous moment for the Middle East

Optimism for Egypt economy

Key players in the Egyptian crisis

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  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 47.

    Another thing BBC (and others) I've read that petition signed by 22 million Egyptians and nowhere does it include the words "ISLAMIST AGENDA" and I'm getting rather tired of seeing the BBC stick that into every article about a Muslim country. All that spin damages the BBCs credibility. Egypt's economy has deep structural problems which no one can solve in a year without deeply unpopular cuts

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 46.

    45. cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine
    JUST NOW
    I would like to think that, when the time comes, we can persuade our army to do the same for us.
    --
    Allegedly during Harold Wilsons term in office they WERE planning on 'doing the same for us'
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4789060.stm

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 45.

    I would like to think that, when the time comes, we can persuade our army to do the same for us.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 44.

    27.MidwayBattle
    And now what the left fear the most - a pro-west secular democracy.

    Are you a real person or some troll-invented caricature? Religiously informed conservatism is normally the goal of the extreme right, not left. The strongest opposition to secularism in the West comes from the right, not left. If parody, remember this kind of parody is doomed to fail (c.f. Poe's Law).

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 43.

    36.Khuli
    ----
    I am sure we are on the same page. Choice should be respected and allowed.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 42.

    Is this the same el baradei who claimed that their were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq , morsi won the election what has el baradei won nothing he's a weasel of a human being always dancing to some masters tune , this is a military coup period and the arresting of leading figures the fjp shows that this has sinister intentions remind me what crime did morsi commit , that's right none

  • rate this
    +28

    Comment number 41.

    Look, regardless of the issues around it being a coup, one less religious government in the world is always a good thing. Good luck to the free thinkers in Egypt and I wish them the best for the future. I just worry any free vote may always swing in the favour of the 'vote for me as it's god's will' party line due to levels of ignorance/eductation.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 40.

    I guess at the end of the day this is the "problem" and responsibility of Egypt and its people. Very few democracies have managed to get to a stable consensus view within a few months, let alone years (or centuries in the case of the UK).

    Egypt has its military power as its final "backstop" in much the same way we in theory have with our Head of State (the Queen) that the Army swears loyalty to.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 39.

    Egypt need to build a civic society- that take into account:
    1. Rights of all people living in country e.g Bill of Rights.
    2. Freedom to practice ANY religion or NONE.
    3. Get military BUDGET down to normal levels (1.5-4 %)
    4. Privatize military " nonmilitary assets" (hotels etc.)
    5. Establish good relation with neighbourhood
    6. Jobs!!!
    7. Get economy running ( tourists- exports- Suez canal)

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 38.

    In a democracy a legitimate president will be impeached for talking of Jihad against Shiahs of Syria, as he did in June.

    Call this coup de tat an impeachment, Arabic style.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 37.

    Is it possible (fingers crossed ..) that the Army will play the role of honourable umpire? Permitting democracy but booting out cliques? If so, could it be a model for emerging democracies??????? [But who decides who is a clique???]

  • rate this
    +19

    Comment number 36.

    13.politicsofenvy
    The choice of faith and religion for Individuals should be respected, not imposed.
    --
    The choice of faith and religion for Individuals should be allowed, not respected.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 35.

    So are they going to ban the Muslim Brotherhood? If they're allowed to stand in new elections won't they get the majority of the votes again?

    Morsi should have started work on the removal of all those graven images while he had the chance - The Sphinx is an abomination in the eyes of Allah.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 34.

    What is happening in Egypt is NOT a military coup-
    which is a deliberate false portrayal of it-
    just look at the millions on the streets not only in Cairo
    and Alexandria but throughout Egypt, even villages,
    listen to what Amr Moussa and all of Egypt is saying-
    plus the interim president is not of the armed forces.
    The campaign behind it collected 22 million signatures
    in a few months.

  • rate this
    +37

    Comment number 33.

    The problem emerging democracies have is realising that winning an election does not give you the unfettered right to do what you want. Imposing a constitution that did not have overwhelming support and then usurping powers beyond that constitution showed Morsi did not understand that basic issue. If the Rule of Law is not respected and upheld by those in power, then democracy has no chance.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 32.

    If this is a so called popular coup D'etat, then it is worth mentioning that colonel Gadaffi's coup in the 60s also enjoyed popular support. In civilised countries you're supposed to remove unpopular countries by the ballot box, Egypt has just sent out the message that democracy doesn't work, unless it's the kind that supports Western interests

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 31.

    The army will allow peaceful protests? How democratic of them...

    Around half of the 80 million Egyptians live on less than $2 a day.

    Were they in Tahrir square demanding Morsi's removal, with their laser pens, Gucci sunglasses and Nike t-shirts? I hardly think so.

    What about the millions of people who don't live in Cairo and voted for Morsi, and who approved the constitution in a referendum?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 30.

    Morsi could have taken the high ground when the known under swell of a very unhappy large population was about to erupt onto the streets. All he had to do was suggest forming a coalition government of national unity to tackle the country's dire economic needs !! we're most unhappiness comes from.
    No he was to busy defending the MBH and his position, achieved by a very small majority!

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 29.

    Fingers crossed that Egypt can restart their democracy and become a forward looking, modern, all inclusive society.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 28.

    Time to follow the lead of the people in Egypt and get onto our streets and protest about the slide into an undemocratic EU that nobody voted for. Then again that would get in the way of Big brother and reality TV for most people.

 

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