Huffpost WorldPost

Egyptian Army Commits To Civilian Power Transfer, Peace With Israel

Posted: Updated:

CAIRO - The ruling military pledged Saturday to eventually hand power to an elected civilian government and reassured allies that Egypt will abide by its peace treaty with Israel after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, as it outlined the first cautious steps in a promised transition to greater democracy.

Protesters and the young organizers of the popular movement that pushed Mubarak out of power, still riding high on jubilation over their success, began to press their vision for how to bring reform. Their first question to resolve: Whether to continue their demonstrations.

A coalition of the organizers called for their massive protest camp entrenched for nearly three weeks in Cairo's central Tahrir Square to end, as a gesture to the military. Still, they called for large-scale demonstrations every Friday to keep up pressure for change. Others in the crowds still in Tahrir, however, insisted the constant protests should continue.

At the same time, the coalition put forward their first cohesive list of demands for the next stage, focussed on ensuring they -- not just the military and members of Mubarak's regime -- have a voice in shaping a new democratic system.

Among their demands: creation of a presidential council, made up of a military representative and two "trusted personalities"; the dissolving of the ruling party-dominated parliament; and the forming of a broad-based unity government and a committee to either amend or rewrite completely the constitution.

Tahrir, or Liberation, Square was the scene of wild partying all night long by Egyptians after the announcement Friday night that Mubarak had resigned and handed power to the military. Thousands streamed in during the day Saturday to continue celebrations.

They also sent a symbolic signal of their continued ambitions to rebuild a new nation. They started cleaning up the square, which had been trashed by 18 days of turmoil that included battles with police and regime-backed gangs. Moreover, a virtual tent town had been set up there, complete with tents, clinics and other facilities for the thousands who have camped there overnight.

"The day of beautifying Tahrir Square," a giant banner in the black-red-and-white colors of the national flag read. Broom brigades fanned out, with young men and women -- some in stylish clothes and earrings -- sweeping up rubble from the days of fighting and garbage from the days of rallying. Piles of trash were packed into bags. Young veiled girls painted the metal
railings of fences along the sidewalk.

Others tried to reassemble sidewalks and pavements that fellow protesters had torn up to chop into ammunition in the brutal street battles with pro-regime gangs. Burnt-out vehicles used a barricades were towed away. In that fighting, the two sides threw just about everything heavy they could find at each other for 48 hours -- chunks of concrete, metal rails and rebar, bricks and stones, as well as firebombs.

"We are cleaning the square now because it is ours," said Omar Mohammed, a 20-year-old student. "After living here for three weeks, it has become our home ... We're going to leave it better than before."

Have a tip you want to share? You can leave a message for HuffPost at 00-1-315-636-0962. If you know someone there and have email access, send us an email at egypt@huffingtonpost.com. Our Skype account is HuffPostReports.

Share this:
Ahram Online reports:

A spiritual leader of Somalia's Islamist Shebab rebels called for popular Egypt- and Tunisia-style revolts to topple the government.

Sheikh Jama Abdusalam said such uprisings would rid the war-wracked country of a government that he accused of serving Western interests.

"I am urging the people to carry out Egyptian- and Tunisian-style uprisings in Somalia," Abdusalam told Alfurqaan Radio, a Shebab mouthpiece.

Read more here.

Share this:
@ AlArabiya_Eng : Clinton to Alarabiya: I say to egyptians: don't let anyone hijack the process #alarabiya #Iran #Egypt #clinton

Share this:

Egypt's military rulers called for an end to strikes and protests Monday as thousands of state employees, from ambulance drivers to police and transport workers, demonstrated to demand better pay in a growing wave of labor unrest unleashed by the democracy uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak's regime.

The statement by the ruling military council that took power from Mubarak appeared to be a final warning to protest organizers in labor and professional unions before the army intervenes and imposes an outright ban on gatherings, strikes and sit-ins.

Soldiers cleared out almost all the remaining demonstrators from Cairo's Tahrir Square, the giant traffic circle that was turned into a protest camp headquarters for the 18-day revolt. During more than two weeks of round-the-clock demonstrations at the square, protesters set up tents, brought in blankets, operated medical clinics and festooned the entire plaza with giant banners demanding removal of the regime.

Read more here.

Share this:

Al Jazerra's Evan Hill filed a new set of photos from Cairo, documenting the return to some semblance of normality, following the political unrest of recent weeks.

More from Al Jazerra here.

Share this:
The Guardian reports:

There are rumours – and let us stress, just rumours at this point – of more deaths in Bahrain following today's protests.

Share this:
@ felix85 : France says Egypt asks it to freeze possible assets of ex-officials, adding to UK and Germany already today

Share this:

Wael Ghonim, a regional marketing manager for Google in the Middle East tells 60 Minutes about the support that the company provided when he was detained for his role in the protests.

There is more video from Ghonim's interview with 60 Minutes here.

Share this:

Hundreds of Egyptian police have been protesting outside the country's Interior Ministry. They are demanding better wages and seeking to disassociate themselves from the deaths of protesters in the run up to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak from the Presidency.

Watch Al Jazerra's coverage of the protests:

Share this:

Ahram Online reports:

A crowd of about 3,000 protesters, mainly lawyers and students, tried to march from Sanaa University to Al-Tahrir square in the city centre, where [Yemen President] Saleh's supporters have been camped since last week, but were prevented by security forces who erected barbed wire, witnesses reported.

In a move to manage the situation President Saleh halted constitutional procedures which may have allowed him to assume the presidency for life, and possibly pave the way for his son, the chief of the Republican Guard, to succeed him.

Share this:

The Guardian reports:

A major development in Bahrain where there are reports that one person has been killed by security forces during a protest:

According to sources in the hospital, and confirmed by Nabeel Rajab from a Bahraini human rights organisation, Ali Abdulhadi al-Mushaima, 27, was shot in the back with live ammunition. Protesters are incensed.

Share this:
@ thelede : Live Update: Dozens of Iran Protest Clips on YouTube http://nyti.ms/dG1C5M #Egypt #Bahrain #Iran

Share this:

The New York Times reports:

Two generals sat down Sunday night to talk about their country’s future with seven of the revolution’s young organizers — including the Google marketing executive Wael Ghonim — and the young activists posted their notes on the meeting directly to the Internet for the Egyptian public to see.

“We all sensed a sincere desire to preserve the gains of the revolution and unprecedented respect for the right of young people to express their views,” two of the young organizers, Mr. Ghonim and Amr Salama, wrote in their Facebook posting, with the disclaimer that they were speaking only for themselves. They noted that the generals spoke without any of the usual “parental tone (you do not know what is good for you, son),” and called the encounter “the first time an Egyptian official sat down to listen more than speak.”

Read more here.

Share this:
@ AJEnglish : Clashes reported in Iran protests: Pro-reformist marches under way in Tehran despite a heavy security presence a... http://aje.me/fqbkTi

Share this:
Ahram Online reports:

According to activist Ahmed Nassar, Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League, stated that he will be devoting his time in the coming months to his presidential campaign as soon as he hands over his Arab League post in March.

Share this:
@ richardengelnbc : #egypt.. some APCs moved out of downtown.. feeling cairo is slowly being 'demilitarized,' although military in control

Share this:
@ BBCWorld : US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hails 'courage' and 'aspirations' of anti-government protesters in #Iran, from AFP

Share this:

Videos have been surfacing today showing protesters burning images of government leaders in Iran. This video shows a man, alleged to be a plain-clothes policeman, attempting to stop protesters from burning such an image, resulting in a violent skirmish.

Warning - contains violent images.

Share this:

BBC News reports:

Unrest in Yemen turned ugly as protesters clashed with police and government loyalists in Sanaa on the fourth consecutive day of rallies.

Thousands of protesters demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh came up against a smaller crowd backing the veteran leader.

The protesters could be heard chanting "After Mubarak, Ali", in reference to the recent dramatic events in Egypt.

Police fired tear gas and stones were thrown, with reports of injuries.

Read more here.

Share this:

Reuters reports:

Dozens of Iranian opposition supporters were arrested on Monday while taking part in a banned rally in Tehran to support popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, an Iranian opposition website said.

"Witnesses say in some parts of Tehran security forces arrested dozens of protesters," opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi's Kaleme website reported.

Read more here.

Share this:

Around the Web

Egypt army commits to power transfer, Israel peace - Yahoo! News

BBC News - Egypt military authorities 'to respect all treaties'

Egypt army commits to power transfer, Israel peace - USATODAY.com

Army - Egypt

Potential Threats To Israel: Egypt

WikiLeaks: US frustrated with Egypt military - Israel News, Ynetnews

Egypt's Military Rulers Suggest They Will Honor Israel Treaty ...

Egypt's military committed to 'Israel peace treaty' - Channel 4 News

Egypt military promises to abide by Israel peace deal

Egyptian military divided regarding Mubarak resignation, Israel ...