Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egypt protests: Egypt, With Anger and Hope

Egypt protests: On Sunday, the United States stepped up pressure on Mubarak's fledgling government, urging reforms and throwing its full support behind "peaceful protesters" demanding change."We are trying to convey a message that is very clear, that we want to ensure there is no violence and no provocation that results in violence and that we want to see these reforms and a process of national dialogue begun so that the people of Egypt can see their legitimate grievances addressed," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on "This Week with Christiane Amanpour," in the most forecful language she has used thus far.

The military reportedly arrested prisoners that had escaped from Cairo's jails but there were conflicting reports from the region regarding their role in containing disruptions. They were not seemingly enforcing the curfew in place, and Al Jazeera English reported that an army leader told crowds in Tahrir Square Sunday that they wouldn't go against their wishes.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the Government has chartered a Qantas 747 aircraft which will evacuate Australians trying to get out of Cairo on Wednesday.She says she has been briefed on the latest situation in Egypt, where at least 125 people have been killed in protests in the past six days.

The military was deployed Friday at the height of this week's tension, and unlike the police, it has mostly been welcomed by the public.At least 125 people are known to have died in six days of protests against Mr Mubarak's government, and fighter jets and helicopters buzzed protesters in the streets of Cairo overnight in an apparent show of force from the regime.

Australian Egyptian Friendship Association spokesman Omar Mustafa expects more blood will be spilled in coming days as the situation intensifies.But he says spirits remain high and although people are scared of both looters and the ruling regime, thousands more are joining the fight.

As American television screens broadcast tens of thousands of protesters in the streets of major Egyptian cities, Ragui Assaad is getting more personal, firsthand reports.Assaad, a professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, has been in near-constant contact with his wife, who lives just outside Cairo, and his mother, who is just minutes from the site of major demonstrations.

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