Firing cabinet not enough, Mubarak must go: El BaradieBy IANS
Saturday, January 29, 2011
CAIRO - Protests in Egypt continued unabated as the pro-democracy leader Mohamed El Baradie stuck on the demand of President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation and said the appointment of a new vice president and a prime minister was not enough.
The comment by the Nobel laureate came after Mubarak Saturday swore in intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as vice president and appointed former air force commander and aviation minister Ahmed Shafik as the new prime minister in an effort to quell the mass unrest against his 30-year rule.
El Baradie said he holds respect for Suleiman and Shafik, but “replacing individuals is not enough”, Xinhua reported citing Al Jazeera televiiosn.
Mubarak directed his cabinet to resign after US President Barack Obama told his Egyptian counterpart to avoid a violent response to the growing nationwide protests.
The demand for Mubarak’s resignation reached a crescendo on the streets of central Cairo with thousands of demonstrators demanding that he step down.
Hundreds of protesters resumed their gathering Saturday in Tahrir Square in Cairo, where anti-government demonstrations started peacefully Tuesday before turning violent in the following days.
The government has imposed a ban on protests and warned the demonstrators of stern action.
More than 1,000 people have been arrested this week, with many more reportedly missing.
In Cairo, police have used rubber bullets and tear gas in clashes with protesters at the interior ministry. There have also been clashes in the cities of Alexandria and Ismailiya, according to BBC.
The military, called out Friday to reinforce police, continued patroling the streets with tanks and armoured vehicles as demonstrators defied the overnight curfew, ordered by Mubarak for Cairo, Suez and Alexandria but later extended nationwide.
An estimated 100 people have been killed in protests since Friday, though severe disruptions in communication services have made it difficult to obtain clear information about casualties, according to DPA
Internet and mobile communications were cut Friday across Egypt, after social-networking websites used to organise protests were blocked earlier in the week.
World governments have weighed in heavily on the ongoing violence, urging peace and calm and calling on the Egyptian government to respect protesters’ freedoms of speech and assembly.