Posts Tagged ‘Cairo’

\’ElBaradei arrives at Cairo\’s Tahrir Square\’

In Media Dailies on January 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm

\’ElBaradei arrives at Cairo\’s Tahrir Square\’.

Live: Egypt unrest day six

TV coverage from the BBC as unrest continues in Egypt 

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Live BBC TV coverage of events in Egypt

LIVE UPDATES (all times GMT)

Live coverage of the sixth day of anti-government protests in Egypt, as thousands of demonstrators return to the streets nationwide. This page updates automatically, there is no need to refresh.

1732 A new turn in the protests, perhaps: police and security forces are expected to return to the streets tomorrow. The army has been the dominant presence throughout Sunday.
1717 A former US ambassador to Egypt and to Israel, Martin Indyk, tells the BBC that successive US administrations have tried to warn Hosni Mubarak to take account of the wishes of his people, and says that Barack Obama’s White House now appears to have no choice but to side with the Egyptian people.

1711 As befits a man at the heart of a protest movement made popular by social media, Mohamed ElBaradei has tweeted a message to Egyptians : “We shall continue to exercise our right of peaceful demonstration and restore our freedom & dignity. Regime violence will backfire badly”.
Read more of Mohamed ElBaradei’s tweets.

1703 More detail on Mr ElBaradei’s speech to protesters, via Reuters once more: “You have taken back your rights and what we have begun cannot go back. We have one main demand – the end of he regime and the beginning of a new stage, a new Egypt. I bow to the people of Egypt in respect. I ask of you patience, change is coming in the next few days.”
1657 Just days into a return to his homeland, it appears that Mr ElBaradei – former head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA – is seeking a key role in the protests. But the Nobel Peace Prize winner is not widely seen as a popular figurehead – and is not generally famed for his public speaking.
1653 Widespread reports that Mohamed ElBaradei is now in Tahrir Square, with Reuters reporting he has begun to speak. “What we have begun cannot go back,” he is quoted as saying.
1638 As we await confirmation of Mr ElBaradei’s arrival, we’ve put together a gallery of some of the best photographs from another dramatic day on the streets of Egypt.
1630 It’s 1830 now in Egypt, two and a half hours into the latest curfew, and darkness has fallen quickly on the protesting crowds. If Mr Elbaradei is going to address Cairo’s protesters it will be a street-lit stump speech.
1628 Reports of Mr ElBaradei’s arrival are now firming up, with al-Jazeera TV also placing him in Tahrir Square.
1623 Mohamed ElBaradei update: Reuters news agency now reports that he has arrived in Tahrir Square to join protesters.
1620 In Alexandria, the BBC’s world affairs editor John Simpson reports that people are becoming nervous about how things are playing out. Residents are worried about looting and about the availability of supplies, he says. There is also a sense that the government is now dealing with events in a different way, and that the crowds are concerned about the prospect of getting hurt if they stay out long beyond the curfew.
1600 Meanwhile, in a contrast to to the scenes of protesters and fighter jets that have dominated foreign media coverage, Egyptian state TV has been broadcasting images of Defence Minsiter Mohammad Hussein Tantawi inspecting the army units securing downtown Cairo.
1558 Much is now expected of Mohamed ElBaradei from some of the protesters. A BBC Arabic correspondent, Assad el-Sawy, is now reporting that Mr ElBaradei is on his way to Liberation Square, where he is scheduled to address the protesters.
1551 There have been a lot of strands to the story as the day has developed. We’ve now got a full account of Hillary Clinton’s comments on the need for “an orderly transition” in Egypt .
1547 The full UK travel advice can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website .
1546 On the issue of travel, it’s worth reiterating that the official UK advice is for Britons to avoid all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez – but there is no specific warning for tourists currently in the Red Sea region of the country.
1533 Mr Hague added his voice to calls for a transition to democracy in Egypt, urging free and fair elections, but adding: “It is not for us to choose the president of a country.”
1531 Foreign Secretary William Hague tells the BBC the UK will do everything it can to get Britons who want to leave Egypt out of the country.
1526 Reuters has a full quote from Mr ElBaradei: “It is loud and clear from everybody in Egypt that Mubarak has to leave today,” he told CNN. “He needs to leave today… to be followed by a smooth transition [to] a national unity government to be followed by all the measures set in place for a free and fair election.”
1512 And more from the Nobel peace laureate: he has reportedly told CNN that President Mubarak must leave the country “today” to make way for a unity government.
1507 A new comment from opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei, reported by the AFP news agency: The US is “losing credibility by the day” by support the Mubarak regime, the former UN nuclear chief says.

1505 After footage of damaged antiquities was shown on al-Jazeera TV, Egyptologist Margaret Maitland, writing on The Eloquent Peasant blog , says she has been studying the evidence: “I’ve managed to identify a number of the objects shown damaged in the al-Jazeera footage, including statues of Tutankhamun and the mummies of his great-grandparents.”

1452 Dramatic evidence of the passion on the streets of Cairo from crowds around the BBC’s Lyse Doucet a little earlier today. 

BBC correspondent with protesters in Cairo 

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The BBC’s Lyse Doucet on the ground with Egypt protesters

1450 In Tahrir Square, the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen notes that the tanks and fighter jets massed in front of the protesters were supplied to the Mubarak government by the US – something unlikely to endear the US to those taking to the streets, especially if Washington does not come out and openly oppose the president.
1442 Concern appears to be spreading into the world of business. Reuters reports that oil giant Shell is preparing to pull international staff and their families out of Egypt on Sunday.
1440 The new Secretary of Organisation of the National Democratic Party, Maged al-Sharbini, says Egypt’s new cabinet will be announced in a few hours, BBC Arabic reports. More coverage from BBC Arabic .
1435 There is still passion and intensity among the crowds in Cairo, the BBC’s Kevin Connolly reports from Tahrir Square, although he estimates the numbers are down slightly on recent days. The main demand remains for Hosni Mubarak to go and for an end to the Mubarak years.
1431 More from Hillary Clinton, who has done the rounds of US Sunday talk shows. “We want to see these reforms and a process of national dialogue begun so that the people of Egypt can see their legitimate concerns addressed,” she told ABC.
1424 Back in Cairo, al-Jazeera TV reports that protesters have painted a “Down with Mubarak” slogan in the midst of Tahrir Square.
1419 The full quote from Mrs Clinton to Fox News, reported by Reuters: “We want to see an orderly transition so that no one fills a void, that there not be a void, that there be a well thought-out plan that will bring about a democratic participatory government.”
1417 In what appear to be some of the strongest US comments yet on the situation in Egypt, Mrs Clinton has also called for “an orderly transition”, according to reports.
1411 As yet, Mrs Clinton tell US network ABC, there has been “no discussion” about cutting off aid to Egypt, stressing that Egypt’s rulers need to refrain from violence against protesters.
1407 Meanwhile, in Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken of her concern over events in Egypt. According to extracts of interviews given to US TV networks on Sunday, Mr Mubarak’s reforms are the “bare beginning” of a much-needed list of reform.
1401 Reporters and eyewitnesses are describing the arrival of the fighters jets above Tahrir Square. The buzzing of the jets is incredibly loud, those nearby report.
1354 There are reports of renewed military activity in central Cairo: two Egyptian jets are repeatedly buzzing Tahrir Square, a helicopter is hovering nearby and a column of tanks has arrived, the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen reports.
1350 Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif tells the BBC from Cairo that it is “in the interests of the country” that President Hosni Mubarak leaves, and says the country’s mobile phone operators are “doing democracy a disservice” by agreeing to limit or block service.
1345 AhmedAlaa_SJ tweets: “Protesters say they will not move from Tahrir Square. They are asking the army to go arrest #Mubarak! #jan25 #egypt #cairo” 

1332 Human Rights Watch says that looting is becoming a real problem in Alexandria. Peter Bouckaert, the organisation’s emergencies director, tells the BBC World Service Newshour programme that some of it was a deliberate attempt by the authorities to frighten people: “Some of [the looters] are criminals who’ve been released from the prisons and we have confirmed reports that some of the looters are actually undercover policemen. So we’re not quite sure how much of this is spontaneous and how much of it is an organised attempt by the government to create instability now.”
1320 BBC Arabic correspondent in Cairo Khaled Ezzelarab reports that protestors in Tahrir Square have said they intend to carry march with the coffins of victims of the violence to the presidential palace on Monday if he does not step down.
1300 The US State Department advises nationals to avoid travel to Egypt and authorises the departure from Egypt of embassy families and non-essential personnel.
1245 Egyptian state TV broadcasts footage of dozens of prisoners escaping and being recaptured by the army. The prisoners are shown seated on the floor, many of them with their hands tied behind their backs. The newsreader also announces that the army has arrested 450 rioters in different parts of the country. The station also shows footage of confiscated rifles, AK-47 assault rifles, Molotov cocktails, ammunition, and knives, which the announcer says were to be used by “criminals to terrorise the public”.


Dan Nolan of al-Jazeera tweets: “Packing our equipment. We have been kicked out of office. Jazeera only network being shut down according to these guys #Jan25 #Egypt”

1206 A coalition of opposition groups issue a statement asking Mohamed ElBaradei to form a transitional government. They call on the Nobel Laureate “during this transitional stage, to act in the internal and external affairs of the nation, and to form a temporary government… and to dissolve parliament and draft a new constitution which enables the Egyptian people to freely choose its representatives in parliament and elect a legitimate president.” The statement was signed by the 6 April Movement, the We are all Khalid Said Movement, the National Assembly for Change and the 25 January Movement.
1157 Al-Jazeera’s broadcasts via an Egyptian satellite have been halted. The Egyptian government had earlier ordered the Arabic TV channel, which has been showing blanket coverage of the protests, to shut down its operations in the country.
1154 Jack Shenker and Peter Beaumont in Cairo for The Guardian, describe the scene at a mosque that has become a hospital: “This place of worship is little more than a partially-roofed narrow passage between two tall buildings; now it has been transformed into a makeshift hospital, with blood soaking through the prayer mats.”
1150 Egyptian state-owned Nile TV shows video of President Mubarak meeting top military commanders. By his side were Vice-President Omar Suleiman and Defence Minister Tantawi. The channel said the meeting took place in the “centre for military operations” to “follow up the armed forces’ operations to control the security situation”.
1145 Egypt’s banks and stock exchange are to stay closed on Monday for a second day, the Central Bank announces. Stock exchanges in the Gulf drop sharply after opening on Sunday.
1116 The BBC’s Jon Donnison, in Jerusalem, says there is deep concern behind the scenes in Israel. “One former ambassador said ministers were desperately running between meetings to form a future plan. One concern is the country’s border with Gaza and Egypt’s ability to maintain security along that border.”
1107 The BBC’s Kevin Connolly, in Cairo, says the army is playing an ambiguous role and does not seem to have clear orders, certainly not the crucial order to enforce the curfew. “There is a very febrile atmosphere – there is real fear, on the streets, that stories of prisoners being released and looters roaming the streets are being circulated to sap the will of protesters.”
1100 The BBC’s Lyse Doucet 


tweets: “Army now checking everyone entering Tahrir Square. Long queues forming ..very orderly #Jan25”.

1058 In Cairo one protester tells Reuters news agency that most of those doing the looting are policemen. “We are protecting the country,” Medhat Shaker says. “We arrested a police officer and group of policemen looting and the majority of looters are policemen, and you can ask the military troops if you do not believe me.”
Jeremy Bowen in Cairo 



‘Jeremy Bowen: Vacuum of authority in Cairo’

1055 Majda72 tweets: “Protests have begun in Alexandria, chants are “No to Mubarak, no to Suleiman”#jan25 #egypt”.

1040 Monasosh tweets: “Call from friend in Tahrir Square. Army is now blocking all entrances to it gradually gaining more power to control in/out flow of people #Jan25”

1032: The BBC’s Rami Ruhayem, of the BBC’s Arabic Service says: “We’re getting reports of preparations for a large demonstration in Mahalla al Kubra, an industrial city north of Egypt. The city is home to many textile and gas factories. There was rioting last night near some of the factories, and reports of army reinforcements arriving at one of the main textile factories.
1023: The US embassy in Cairo says the state department is making arrangements for US citizens who wish to leave to be flown to Europe.
1020: Maajid Nawaz of the Arabic thinktank the Quilliam Foundation tells BBC World that the protests will not end until the president leaves.
1012: Turkey is sending two Turkish Airlines planes to Egypt to evacuate Turkish citizens, according to the country’s state-run Anatolian news agency.
1006: Arabic broadcaster Al-Jazeera says that Egyptian authorities have ordered the closure of its offices in Cairo and elsewhere. Al-Jazeera denounced the move which it said was aimed at “censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people”.
1003: The US embassy in Cairo is reported to have advised American citizens living in the country to consider leaving.
1000: The Egyptian army is reported to be guarding the deserted interior ministry headquarters in the centre of the capital, Cairo, after protesters attempted to force entry into the building last night, Reuters reports. All officials have been evacuated and two armoured lorries and a tank are on guard outside.