Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Egypt: Chronology of a country in turmoil

After the uprising that led to the fall Tunisian President Ben Ali, in power since 1987, Egypt flared turn since early January. The protesters oppose the regime of President Hosni Mubarak, in power since 1981. In recent months, tensions had emerged in this vast country of 78 million people, caused particularly by higher prices and restrictions on commodities. January 16. While international observers suggest the domino effect may extend to the entire Arab world following the events of Tunisia, the Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit called West "not to interfere "in Arab affairs. Under the yoke of Hosni Mubarak since 1981, Egypt has a plan and a social situation comparable to those overthrown in Tunisia.
January 17. A man himself on fire at the People's Assembly in Cairo. The revolt was started after the Tunisian gesture of despair similar Bouazizi Mohamed, a young street vendor whose goods had been confiscated by the authorities, a month ago to the day.
January 18. Two new immolation by fire were reported in Alexandria and in front of government headquarters in Cairo.
January 19. Against the backdrop of revolution and Tunisia in parallel with the rise sporadic anger in Egypt, the country welcomes Sharm el-Sheikh on the second Arab economic summit, under high voltage.
January 20. Two workers at a textile company Menoufia governorate in the Nile Delta north of Cairo, set themselves on fire, bringing to five the number of suicide attempts in four days. Both men wanted to protest against a change decided by their employer.
January 24. Several opposition groups called the Egyptians, particularly young people, to show the next day, hoping that the echo of uprising Tunisian mobilization to promote economic reform and political change in Egypt.
January 25. Beginning of mass protests. First of its kind since 1977, the "Day of revolt against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment is severely repressed, several deaths being recorded. In Cairo and in several major cities of Egypt, about 15,000 people answered the call to demonstrate against the ruling regime launched yesterday.
The rallies are punctuated with the sound of slogans calling for the improvement of living conditions ("Bread, Freedom, Dignity"). "Mubarak releases" or "Tunisia is the solution" chant other Protestants, seeking the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
January 26. For the second consecutive day, protesters defy the ban imposed by the authorities. Cairo and Suez, violent clashes opposed the Protestants and the police who carry out hundreds of arrests.
In the early evening in the port city of Suez, government buildings, including the headquarters of Mubarak's National Democratic Party, were attacked with stones and molotov cocktails. In two days of unrest, violence has killed six people, police and protesters and injured dozens more. At least a thousand people were also arrested.
January 27. Pioneer in organizing demonstrations, the "Movement of April 6, consisting mainly of youth, is launching a new call to action via social networks. The former president of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nobel Peace prize in 2005, Mohamed ElBaradei, left Austria and arrived in Egypt. The main opponent of President Mubarak, who came to "ensure that everything happens in a peaceful and lawful", said he was ready to "lead the transition" policy and says he wants to attend the election of November 2011.
One protester was shot dead in the Sinai while Suez was the scene of violent clashes.
January 28. At the initiative of the "Movement of 6 April," the weekly day of prayer is proclaimed Friday from anger ", which was joined for the first time the Muslim Brotherhood and opponent Mohamed ElBarabdei. The Interior Ministry, which warned against further protests and announced the "decisive action", deploys an impressive safety device.
Across the country, rallies degenerated into clashes with police. The headquarters of the political party of President Hosni Mubarak is sacked in Ismailia and Cairo and the headquarters of the governorate of Alexandria were burned. In both cities and Suez, a curfew is imposed, soon extended throughout Egypt. Order of Mubarak, the military deploys. However, tanks and helicopters on patrol in Cairo and Suez do not commit violence. Scenes of fraternization are even observed.
In a televised speech late in the evening, President Mubarak, who spoke by telephone with his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, announced that it dismissed the government and want to take "swift action to combat poverty, unemployment and corruption. "Twenty people were killed during the day.
January 29. The voltage does not drop while in Cairo, protesters by the thousands make the place a symbolic place in Tahrir rally against the regime. In the capital of Protestant processions converge administrative sites such as the Department of the Interior or the headquarters of state television. Cairo being the prey of thieves, the museum with the ancient treasures of the country is under army protection.
Shafik Ahmad, former Minister of Aviation, was appointed prime minister, while the intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, becomes vice president.
January 30. The balance of the first days of protest around 150 dead. Despite the curfew, thousands of people still defies the powers that be on the main Tahrir Square in Cairo. They are galvanized by the spokesman of the opposition announced that Mohamed ElBaradei before them "a new era." Very influential in Egypt, the army and militias, trying to maintain calm in the streets of the capital.
January 31. A general strike was organized. Thousands of protesters still gather on Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the mobilization. Foreign companies are beginning to organize the repatriation of their employees. The interior minister of the new government is appointed just replaced. In a brief televised address, the Vice-President Omar Suleiman said that Egyptian President Mubarak instructed to open an immediate dialogue with the opposition.

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