Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Egypt braces for fresh mass protests

01 February 2013, 17:04

Cairo - Egypt braced for mass rallies on Friday against President Mohammed Morsi, after rival factions condemned a week of deadly violence and pledged support for a national dialogue.

Planned marches will head to Cairo's Tahrir Square and to the presidential palace, while rallies have also been organised in several provinces.

The opposition National Salvation Front, which called for the demonstrations, is demanding the formation of a new national salvation government and the amendment of the Islamist-drafted constitution, which polarised the nation when it was passed in December.

The rallies come after a week of deadly unrest that left nearly 60 people dead, in the worst political crisis since Morsi came to power in June.

The Islamist president is accused of betraying the revolution that brought him to the presidency and of consolidating power in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In a statement, the NSF said Egyptians would demonstrate nationwide against "a regime that seeks to impose its will on the people and is managing the country in the interest of the Brotherhood."

On Thursday, rival factions condemned the violence and pledged support for a national dialogue.

Top Islamic scholar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb chaired talks between liberal opposition heads, Islamists, youth groups, independents and church members at the headquarters of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning.

Serious dialogue

They signed an Al-Azhar document vowing to support "a serious dialogue" and "condemn all forms of violence and incitement to violence," and stressing "the responsibility of the state and its security apparatus to protect citizens".

Opposition and NSF leader Mohamed ElBaradei, a former UN nuclear watchdog chief, praised the Al-Azhar talks.

"We come out of these talks with some sort of optimism" despite "the difficult challenges ahead," he told reporters.

"We will do whatever we can with goodwill to build the trust of the Egyptian people."

Saad al-Katatni, head of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, stressed the need for compromise.

"There is no solution to the problems in our path to democracy without dialogue... Dialogue must have guarantees but no preconditions," Katatni told reporters.

"All topics are up for discussion and all participants said they were ready for compromises."

It remains to be seen whether the Al-Azhar document will carry any weight on the street.

Even with few concrete points agreed, Thursday's talks marked a blow for Morsi whose calls for dialogue were snubbed by the opposition only last week.

Important step

In a statement, the presidency welcomed the document as "an important step on the road to re-establishing stability".

The interior ministry said it respected "the right to peaceful protest", but urged all political forces to ensure "a peaceful and civilised" day, a spokesperson said.

Egypt has been gripped by unrest since rallies last week marking the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak.

The protests turned violent on Saturday after a Cairo court sentenced 21 residents of the canal city of Port Said to death for their involvement in football-related violence last year.

Friday's protests will mark one year since the Port Said clashes that left 74 people dead.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...