EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Man Overboard In Egypt: “Something In The Soul Cries Out For Freedom” …

  • February 12th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

egypt-giza-21.jpgThe feelings of an intently watching world were reflected by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, proclaiming an “historic change”, on the announcement that Hosni Mubarak had resigned.

The Egyptian President of 30 years had surrendered to pressure, handing over control of government to a military council late on Friday 11.2.11, and generating a huge change of mood among hundreds of thousand of citizen demonstrators in the streets – from anger to sustained, uproarious jubilation.

egypt-bbc.jpg(See video, resignation announcement and crowd celebration, from BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12433045)

Interest within and outside of the country immediately turned to the expected transition to democratic government through elections.

moon-resize1.jpgThe United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon (picture), spelt out those expectations, calling for “a transparent, orderly and peaceful transition including free, fair and credible elections, leading to the establishment of civilian rule.”

“It is vital that human rights and civil liberties be respected”, he said, at the United Nations, NY.

“The voice of the Egyptian people, particularly youth, has been heard … in a courageous, peaceful and orderly way.”

In the United States, President Barack Obama quoted Martin Luther King: “There is something in the soul that cries out for freedom”.

“I am sure there will be difficult days ahead but I am confident the people of Egypt can find the answers and do so peacefully”, the President said in Washington.

“Nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day … All voices need to be brought to the table.

“We saw military that would not fire bullets at people they were pledged to protect …

“The military will now have to ensure a transition to power that is credible to the Egyptian people …

“While the sights and sounds that we heard were entirely Egyptian, we cannot help but hear the echoes of history …”

obama-11211.jpg(See video, White House – President Obama on a historic day … http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2011/02/11/president-obama-historic-day-egypt)

rudd.jpgThe Australian Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, said he had called the ambassador, who described it as “like a casrnival of democracy” in the city.

“The people of that ancient and venerable civilisation deserve the best of modern democracies”, the Minister said.

egypt-protest-a11.jpegThe wave of protest followed a street revolution in Tunisia that toppled a despotic government and provoked citizen protests in cities throughout the Middle East.

The first major demonstrations in Cairo, from 25.1.11, were suppressed by police with at least 24 people killed.

As the crowds swelled and the police withdrew, the army deployed in the streets to help preserve order, leaving the huge gatherings of private citizens unmolested.

Hosni Mubarak had refused to go, up to almost literally the eleventh hour, before departing for his holiday home on the Red Sea, leaving it to the Vice President, Omar Suleiman, to announce the closing-down of his government, in a televised statement.

Reference

BBC News, London,”Egypt’s Mubarak resigns as leader”, 11.2.11. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12433045, (12.2.11).

Reuters, London, “Egypt celebrates: Scenes of jubilation in the streets after Mubarak steps down”, 11.2.11. http://reut.rs/hsLT2H … http://twitter.com/Reuters, (11.2.11).

Reuters, London, “Timeline: Countdown to the fall of Hosni Mubarak”, 11.2.11. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/11/us-egypt-protests-events-timeline-idUSTRE71A4N220110211?WT.tsrc=Social%20Media&WT.z_smid=twtr-reuters_%20com&WT.z_smid_dest=Twitter, (12.2.11).

The White House – President Barack Obama, Washington,”President Obama on a historic day in Egypt”, 11.2.11. , (11.2.11).

Pictures  BBC, White House

Leave a Reply