Its A Revolution. Not A Coup, Mr. Obama! | Egypt’s Al-Tahrir newspaper has a front-page message (in English) for President Obama

Egypt’s Al-Tahrir newspaper has a front-page message (in English) for President Obama today. Via @Newseum. pic.twitter.com/3BzYgVQyKZ

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Egypt president Mohamed Morsi detained after being overthrown by army

July 4th, 2013

(HeraldSun) – EGYPT’S deposed president Mohamed Morsi is detained in a military facility with top aides after the army announced his ouster, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood said.

“Morsi and the entire presidential team are under house arrest in the Presidential Republican Guards Club,” Gehad El-Haddad, the son of a top Morsi aide, told AFP.

“Morsi has been separated from his aides and was taken to the defence ministry,” he said.

Haddad’s father, Essam El-Haddad, widely seen as Morsi’s right-hand man, was among those held, he added.

A military spokesman did not respond to requests for confirmation of Morsi’s detention, and it was not immediately clear whether the ousted president would later be allowed to leave.

Egypt

Egyptians hug and kiss an army soldier after a broadcast confirming the army will temporarily be taking over from the country’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi. Picture: AFP PHOTO/MOHAMED EL-SHAHED

 

TRAVEL COMPANIES CANCEL TRIPS

His top aides have switched off their phones. Other presidential aides who were separated from Morsi earlier in the day say they have lost communication with their leader.

Morsi had earlier been at his office in the Republican Guard’s headquarters, before he was moved.

A police general told AFP that security forces have issued arrest warrants for 300 leaders and members of his Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Egypt

Egyptians carry police officers on their shoulders as they celebrate the end of Morsi’s rule. Picture: AFP PHOTO/MOHAMED EL-SHAHED

Police have already arrested Saad al-Katatni, head of Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party, and Rashad Bayoumi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s deputy supreme guide, the general said.

Hours after the military announced it had cancelled the constitution and would appoint the head of Egypt’s top court as interim president, Morsi issued a defiant call to arms in a prerecorded speech aired on Al-Jazeera television.

Earlier today Egypt’s military chief General  Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said Mr Morsi will be replaced by the chief justice of constitutional court, Adly al-Mansour.  General Sissi also announced a freezing of the Islamist-drafted constitution and early presidential elections.

MEET THE CARETAKER PRESIDENT

Egpyt crowds celebrate

Fireworks light the sky opponents of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi celebrate in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Picture: AP Photo/Amr Nabil

Four Morsi supporters have been killed in clashes with the army and police in the western city of Marsa Matruh.

Another 10 people were injured after the group of armed supporters stormed the city’s security headquarters, the official said.

Another Morsi supporter was killed in clashes in the coastal city of Alexandria.

Clashes between security forces and Morsi supporters also erupted in the central province of Asiut and the Nile Delta province of Gharbiya.

Egypt celebrations

Egyptians celebrate at a tea house at Defense Minister General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s announcement in Cairo’s Zamalek district. Picture: AP Photo/Hiro Komae

Pres. Morsy urges everyone to adhere to peacefulness and avoid shedding blood of fellow countrymen.

— Egyptian Presidency (@EgyPresidency) July 3, 2013

 

Jubilant crowds of tens of thousands, cheered, ignited firecrackers and honked horns soon after the army announced President Mohamed Morsi’s rule was over, ending Egypt’s worst crisis since its 2011 revolt.

Consultations start “now” for a new Egyptian government after the military deposed president Mohamed Morsi, opposition leader Amr Mussa told AFP.

Mideast Egypt

Military special forces aim their weapons as they surround supporters of Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi in Nasser City, Cairo, Egypt.

“Consultations will start from now, for a government and reconciliation,” said the former Arab League chief, who ran unsuccessfully against Morsi for the presidency last year.

“This is the end of Morsi’s regime. It’s over.”

AUSSIES URGED TO LEAVE

Kevin Rudd says Australians in Egypt should consider leaving immediately, following a spate of violence that has coincided with the ousting of Mohamed Morsi.

Fireworks over Cairo

Fireworks light the sky moments after Egypt’s military chief declares President Morsi is replaced by the chief justice of the constitutional court, July 3, 2013. Picture: Nariman El-Mofty

The Prime Minister said Australia had a keen interest in returning the Arab nation to a full democracy and was concerned by the reports coming out overnight.

“I would say on behalf of all Australians we want to see the return of full democratic government in Egypt as rapidly as possible,” Mr Rudd said.

“Australians in Egypt should consider leaving now. They should avoid all demonstrations and protests as they may turn violent.”

WOMEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED IN TAHRIR SQUARE

General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi

Defence Minister Lieutenant General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi addressing the nation on Egyptian State Television Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Picture: AP Photo/Egyptian State Television

The Department of Foreign Affairs of Trade (DFAT) says 730 Australians are registered as currently being in the country but estimates the real number is likely to be much higher. A further 822 Australians have registered plans to travel there in the coming weeks.

The Australian embassy in Cairo remains open.

MILITARY RULERS REASSURE OBAMA

President Barack Obama said he was “deeply concerned” over the Egyptian military’s ouster of president Mohamed Morsi and urged a quick return to elected civilian government.

EGYPT-POLITICS-UNREST

Egyptian children hold national flags as they pose for pictures near army soldiers on an armoured personnel carrier (APC) in a Cairo street.

He also said he had ordered a review of the legal implications for US aid to Egypt in the wake of the military’s toppling of the country’s first democratically elected leader.

Egyptian military leaders have sought to assure the Obama administration that they are not interested in long-term rule following their toppling of President Mohammed Morsi and have appointed a government of civilian technocrats to temporarily run the country in an apparent bid to forestall potential US sanctions, American officials said.

US law requires the administration to suspend its $1.5 billion in annual military and economic assistance to Egypt – which is deemed a critical U.S. national security priority – if the ouster is determined to have been a coup d’etat.

Under the law, the unconstitutional ouster of a democratically elected government by a country’s armed forces would trigger an aid cutoff. But the administration can take time to make that legal determination, and officials said they believed Egypt’s military was trying to take steps to keep such a finding from being reached.

egypt

CNN correspondent Ivan Watson tweets a picture of Egyptian soldiers praying on the Jemaa bridge across the nile River at sunset in Cairo.

The US government has not called Morsi’s ouster a coup.

The senator who leads the Senate Appropriations panel that oversees foreign aid, Sen. Patrick Leahy, said in a statement that the committee will review future assistance to Egypt as it awaits what he calls “a clearer picture” of the situation. Leahy also said Morsi squandered an historic opportunity.

UN leader Ban Ki-moon understands Egyptians have “deep frustrations” but expressed concern over the military’s ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, a spokesman said.

Ban believes that “military interference in the affairs of any state is of concern,” said deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Paris has taken note that elections had been announced in Egypt following a transition period after the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

Mideast Egypt

A military helicopter files over the presidential palace as opponents of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi protest in Cairo, Egypt.

“In a situation that has worsened seriously and with extreme tension in Egypt, new elections have finally been announced, after a transition period,” Fabius said in a statement. “France takes note of it.”

France hoped a timetable would be drawn up respecting “civil peace, pluralism, individual liberties and the achievements of the democratic transition, so that the Egyptian people can freely choose their leaders and their future”, he added.

Saudi King Abdullah sent a message of congratulations to Egypt’s new caretaker president, saying his appointment comes at a “critical” time in the nation’s history, the official Saudi news agency SPA reported.

“On behalf of the people of Saudi Arabia I congratulate you for taking over the leadership of Egypt at this critical time in its history,” Abdullah said in the first message of congratulations by an Arab leader to Adly Mansour.

Egypt and coup

CairoScene.com tweets a picture of the army deploying in Giza. Picture: Twitter

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has called for a swift return to democracy in Egypt after the army deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

“I am following closely developments in Egypt and am fully aware of the deep divisions in society, popular demands for political change and efforts at brokering a compromise,” she said in a statement.

“I urge all sides to rapidly return to the democratic process, including the holding of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections and the approval of a constitution.”

In London, Britain urged for calm and spoke out against the use of military intervention in bringing about regime change, but stopped short of calling it a coup.

EGYPT-POLITICS-UNREST

An Egyptian man welcomes an army soldier upon his deployment on a street leading to Cairo University.

“The situation is clearly dangerous and we call on all sides to show restraint and avoid violence,” Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.

Despite its concerns about the dramatic events, Britain called on all parties to move forward and “show the leadership and vision needed to restore and renew Egypt’s democratic transition.
SITUATION REMAINS VOLATILE

Camped out in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square for a week, the anti-Morsi protesters let loose with an outburst of joy when military chief General Adel Fattah al-Sisi brought them the news they all were waiting to hear.

Mideast Egypt

Opponents of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi shout slogans during a protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.

As the din rang out for over an hour in Tahrir, epicentre of the Arab Spring uprising that ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak, groups of overjoyed revellers carried members of the security forces on their shoulders as heroes.

Across town near Nasr City, where Morsi’s Islamists had gathered in a counter-demonstration, one celebrator Omar Sherif said: “It’s a new historical moment. We get rid of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood”.

New caretaker President Adly Mansour had been head of the Supreme Constitutional Court for just two days when the army named him leader of the Arab world’s most populous state.

He takes the helm of a nation riven by deep divisions over the army’s ouster of its first freely elected president Mohamed Morsi following days of deadly clashes between his Islamist supporters and their increasingly numerous opponents.

Ironically he was named by Morsi himself to Egypt’s top judicial post, which, following the army’s suspension of the constitution, catapulted him into political power.

US EMBASSY PULLS OUT

Meanwhile the US embassy in Cairo has been  on “ordered departure” status for non-emergency staff and dependents all employees. That means that those covered by the order are required to leave the country.

It was not immediately clear if an evacuation operation would be mounted or if those departing would use commercial airlines or passenger ships to leave.

The BBC has reported the Muslim Brotherhood TV station has been taken off the air and its staff arrested, there are also reports that Al-Jazeera’s Egypt service has also been shut down during a live broadcast and troops have stormed the building.

MORSI INSISTS HE IS STILL PRESIDENT

But Mr Morsi’s office has rejected the move as “illegal” and called on Egyptians to peacefully resist the “coup” and the overthrown leader himself insisted in an amateur video posted on the internet that he remains Egypt’s president.

“I am the elected president of Egypt,” the Islamist politician said in the video uploaded to YouTube.

“It is now demanded of the people to defend this legitimacy and… for legitimacy to be constitutional,” he added in reference to his election a year ago and a constitutional referendum in December.

EGYPT: WHAT IS GOING ON?

But the coup potentially throws the country into further confrontation.

Mr Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, came under massive pressure in the run-up to Sunday’s anniversary of his maiden year in office, with his opponents accusing him of failing the 2011 revolution by concentrating power in Islamist hands.

The embattled 62-year-old proposed a “consensus government” as a way out of the country’s worst crisis since the 2011 uprising ended three decades of authoritarian rule by Hosni Mubarak.

But the United States urged Mr Morsi to “do more” as a military deadline passed for him to meet the demands of the people following a week of bloody unrest during mass protests calling for him to quit.

DOWNFALL ANNOUNCEMENT

Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, the UN nuclear watchdog chief, and the heads of the Coptic Church and Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning, sat alongside the armed forces chief as he announced Mr Morsi’s ouster on state television.

 

Pres. Morsy urges civilians and military members to uphold the law & the Constitution not to accept that coup which turns #Egypt backwards

— Egyptian Presidency (@EgyPresidency) July 3, 2013

 

The choreography was designed to show broad civilian support for the military’s move to topple Mr Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected leader, dashing the hopes of supporters who had seen his elevation to the presidency after years underground as one of the key achievements of the 2011 revolution.

The road map revealed plans for an interim administration, of up to one year, which would include the head of the supreme constitutional court and a senior army figure.

The constitution, controversially approved by Mr Morsi’s Islamist allies in December, would be suspended for up to 12 months while a new one was drawn up and put to a referendum, before presidential and parliamentary elections.

In a statement before he was overthrown, Mr Morsi warned that his electoral legitimacy is the only safeguard against violence and instability.

“The presidency envisions the formation of a consensus coalition government to oversee the next parliamentary election,” Mr Morsi’s office said on Facebook.

He refused to meet the 5pm (1am AEST) deadline from the military for him to step down.

By 6:30pm (2:30am AEST) military forces began surrounding Cairo. Tanks and troops headed for the presidential palace – although it was unclear whether Mr Morsi was inside

The US State Department had expressed concern about what was happening in Egypt but has not spoken since news he was overthrown.

Thousands of people gathered in Nasr City in a show of support for Mr Morsi, despite an attack that killed 16 of them and injured 200 overnight.

That spate of bloodletting took to almost 50 the number of people killed in Egypt since the latest crisis flared a week ago ahead of Sunday’s anniversary of Mr Morsi’s swearing-in.

In his emotional, 46-minute address aired live to the nation late on Tuesday, Mr Morsi accused loyalists of his ousted autocratic predecessor Hosni Mubarak of exploiting the wave of protests to topple his regime and thwart democracy.

“There is no substitute for legitimacy,” said Mr Morsi, at times angrily raising his voice, thrusting his fist in the air and pounding the podium. He warned that electoral and constitutional legitimacy “is the only guarantee against violence.”

PROTESTERS TAKE TO THE STREETS

Millions of jubilant, chanting, Morsi opponents again filled Cairo’s historic Tahrir Square.

With broad grins, they sang patriotic songs they have become accustomed to hearing as the same tunes have been pumped out on state television in the weeks leading up to the crisis.

“Morsi deserves his end. He was the president of the Muslim Brotherhood, not of Egypt,” said Cairo resident Amr Mohammed, who carried his 40-day-old daughter in his arms as he marched to the Ittihadiya presidential palace.

A group of housewives put a table in the street and handed out dates and free cups of water, as celebrations erupted when it appeared that Mr Morsi would not survive the military coup.

Upon hearing the rumour, one elderly man kneeled down on an Egyptian flag and said “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).

Nehal Serry, a woman who helped to organise the refreshments, said: “This is for the sake of Egypt. We are celebrating that we are getting rid of Morsi”.

On Monday, the military gave Mr Morsi an ultimatum to meet the protesters’ demands within 48 hours. If not, the generals’ plan would suspend the Islamist-backed constitution, dissolve the Islamist-dominated legislature and set up an interim administration headed by the country’s chief justice, which is what they have done.

Source: Herald Sun

 

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