Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Violent Clashes erupt amid Cairo protests as fighting breaks out between pro and anti Mubarak factions, the Army has to impose martial law now

Dear All

Yesterday, I wrote a post, the jist was that the Egyptian Army needs to declare Martial Law before clashes erupt and violence flares plunging the country into chaos.

George Laird was right again.

Clashes have erupted in the Egyptian capital between supporters of President Hosni Mubarak and demonstrators calling on him to step down immediately.

Pitch battles are now being fought in and around Cairo.

Several people have been wounded and shots have been heard.

The Army cannot sit on the sidelines, they have to step up to the plate and restore law and order.

Mubarak has said he will step down in September, this is too long a time to wait, he has to go now or the army has to arrest him.

2,000 anti-Mubarak demonstrators are holding a vigil in Tahrir Square, the main focus of the protests but thousands of pro-Mubarak forces are now surging into Tahrir Square.

The time of choice cannot be put off any longer by the army.

Television footage shows opposing groups facing off, chanting slogans. They later hurled stones at each other and fought with stick and bottles.

Some government supporters rode horses and camels and wielded whips, gunfire was heard.

Ibrahim Zadran, co-ordinator of the opposition National Association for Change, told the BBC that some pro-government activists had used firearms and shot 15 protesters.

BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen said the clashes were becoming increasingly violent and he had seen people with nasty wounds.

Clashes between the rival groups also reported in Egypt's second city, Alexandria.

The whole country is now in danger of plunging into civil war unless measures are taken now.

US President Obama said:

"An orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now. I will tell you very simply that there is an unprecedented popular movement that rejects the presence of the president on a scope that has not been seen before, that is calling for the will of the people to be imposed."

If Mr Mubarak does not step down, demonstrators have planned to march on the presidential palace which will mean violence and deaths.

The international community has to call for martial law to be imposed to not do so is gross irresponsible.

A lot of people are going to die needlessly if something is not done.

Protest leader Mohamed ElBaradei tipped as a future leader of Egypt is calling for the Army to act.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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