The protesters outlasted Egyptian President Hosi Mubarak who at long last will step down. The New York Times reports Egypt’s Army Signals Transfer of Power
The command of Egypt’s military stepped forward Thursday in an attempt to stop a three-week-old uprising, declaring on state television it would take measures “to maintain the homeland and the achievements and the aspirations of the great people of Egypt” and meet the demands of the protesters. The development appeared to herald the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
Gen. Hassan al-Roueini, military commander for the Cairo area, also appeared in Tahrir Square and told the demonstrators, “All your demands will be met today.” Some in the crowd held up their hands in V-for-victory signs, shouting “the people want the end of the regime” and “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” a victory cry used by secular and religious people alike.
The moves marked a decisive turn in an uprising that has brought hundreds of thousands into the streets in the most sweeping revolt in the country’s history. So far, the military has stayed largely on the sidelines, but Thursday’s statement suggested it worried that the country was sliding into chaos. The military called the communiqué “the first statement of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,” strongly suggestive that it had arranged to take power in Egypt.
Wael Ghonim, a Google executive and protest organizer whose anti-torture Facebook page helped spark the movement, wrote on his Twitter feed Thursday evening: “Mission accomplished. Thanks to all the brave young Egyptians.”
The youthful leaders of the protest movement said that they would welcome a role for the military in running the government during a transitional period, provided it was overseen by a council composed mainly of civilians. They repeated their previous demand that the council should include only one military officer, and oversee the government for a maximum of one year until free elections under a revised constitution.
Moaz Abdel Karim, a 29 year old leader of the youth section of the Muslim Brotherhood, agreed: “We have had enough of military rule. We want a civilian president.”
Thursday’s meeting of the Supreme Council was shown on television, only the third time the council had met publicly — the first two were in 1967 and 1973, during the wars with Israel. “Today, Thursday the 10th of February of the year 2011, a meeting was held to discuss the developments of the situation today. It is decided that a meeting will convene continuously to look into what measures and procedures to be taken to maintain the homeland and the achievements and the aspirations of the great people of Egypt,” it said.
Some of the protesters say they have been inspired by Wael Ghonim, a Google executive who has emerged as a prominent voice in a revolt galvanized in part by social networking sites. On Thursday, a Twitter feed in his name in English declared: “I promise every Egyptian that I will go back to my normal life & not be involved in any politics once Egyptians fulfill their dreams.”
But, in an interview on CNN, he was also quoted as saying he was “ready to die” for the opposition’s cause. “And I’m telling this to Omar Suleiman,” he said. “He’s going to watch this. You’re not going to stop us. Kidnap me, kidnap all my colleagues. Put us in jail. Kill us. Do whatever you want to do. We are getting back our country. You guys have been ruining this country for 30 years.”
There is much more in the three-page article. Here is a live feed from Cairo courtesy of MSNBC.
Mubarak to Address Nation
The Washington Post reports Mubarak to address nation amid reports he will cede power
President Hosni Mubarak appears poised to cede power after 17 days of massive citizen demonstrations, with the Egyptian military saying the longtime leader would meet protesters’ demands and CIA director Leon M. Panetta saying Mubarak could step aside as soon as Thursday night.
The military’s supreme council met all day Thursday–without Mubarak, its commander in chief– and said it would remain in “continuous session” in order to fulfill the army’s responsibility “to protect the people, and to oversee their interests and security,” according to a written statement.
A spokesman for the council told state television that the council would “support of the legitimate demands of the people.”
Gen. Hassan al-Roueini, military commander for the Cairo area, told the crowds in Tahrir Square that, “All your demands will be met today.” Roueni did not offer specifics, but the protesters’ central demand is for Mubarak to cede power.
Cairo Live Feed MSNBC
Cairo Live Feed Al Jazeera
Here is a link to the Live Feed From Al Jazeera
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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