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, 15:23

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

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...