Thursday, December 30, 2010
Maandamano yazidi nchini Misri
Waandamanaji wamepuuza amri ya serikali
Maelfu ya watu wameendelea na maandamano katika mji mkuu wa Misri, Cairo, huku maandamano hayo yakiingia siku ya saba.
Waandamanaji hao wanatoa wito wa kufanyika mgomo wa kitaifa kuanzia hapo kesho Jumanne.
Polisi wameagizwa kurejea kwenye barabara za mji wa Cairo walizoziacha siku ya Ijumaa, wakati yalipofanyika mandamanao makubwa ya kuipinga serikali.
Serikali ya Misri inasema Polisi wameagizwa kushirikiana na Jeshi.
Waandamanaji wanataka Rais Hosni Mubarak aondoke madarakani baada ya kutawala kwa muda wa miaka 30.
Amejaribu kutuliza ghasia kwa kuahidi mabadiliko ya kisiasa, na akamwagiza waziri mkuu mpya Ahmed Shafiq kuharakisha mabadiliko ya kidemokrasia ili kubuni nafasi mpya za kazi.
Lakini waandishi wanasema ishara zote zinaonyesha mabadiliko pekee yatakayokubalika na waandamanaji ni Rais Mubarak kuondoka madarakani.
Mwandishi wa BBC anasema waandamanaji wengi bado wanaghadhabishwa na jaribio la Polisi kutumia nguvu kuzima maandamano.
Waandamanaji hao wameripotiwa kuzidisha harakati zao huku wakitoa wito wa kufanyika mgomo wa kitaifa na maandamanao makubwa mjini Cairo siku ya Jumanne.
Mjini Cairo kwenyewe helikopta za kijeshi zimeendelea kuzunguka angani karibu na bustani ambapo maelfu ya watu walikusanyika licha ya amri ya kutotoka nje usiku iliyotangazwa na serikali.
Jeshi limeripotiwa kuimarisha vituo vya ukaguzi kote mjini Cairo.
Wakati huo huo, Rais wa Misri Hosni Mubarak amefanya mabadiliko zaidi katika serikali yake huku wasi wasi ukiongezeka kuhusu athari za maandamano hayo juu ya uchumi wa nchi.
Taarifa zinasema Rais Mubarak amembadilisha waziri wa fedha Youssef Boutros-Ghali.
Hatua hiyo inakuja baada ya shirika moja la kimataifa la kukadiria uchumi kushusha viwango vya uthabiti wa uchumi wa Misri hadi chini ya sufuri.
Pia kuna taarifa kwamba waziri wa mambo ya ndani Habib al Adly ameondolewa na nafasi hiyo kuwekwa mtu mwingine.
Maelfu ya raia wa kigeni walioko mjini Cairo wanaendelea kusafirishwa kurudishwa makwao.
Raia wa kigeni waliokwama katika uwanja wa ndege Cairo
Kundi la kwanza la raia wa Marekani wanasafirishwa leo kutoka Cairo kupelekwa nchini Cyprus, katika mwanzo wa mpango ulioanzishwa na Marekani.
Uchina, Japan na Australia pia zimetuma ndege kuwachukua raia wao huku kukiwa na taarifa kwamba mamia ya raia wa kigeni wamekwama kwenye uwanja wa ndege wa kimataifa mjini Cairo.
New Zealand imesema huenda ikatumia usafiri wa kijeshi kuwahamisha raia wake kutoka Misri.
Nchi nyingi duniani zimewatahadharisha raia wao dhidi ya kusafiri kwenda Misri
Protests in Egypt are larger and more intense than they’ve ever been before. “Unprecedented” is the word most frequently used to describe the current political events there. The size of the democratic revolt is unprecedented, as are the levels of repression and censorship. After videos like this Tiananmen square incident and this government shooting were posted to internet sites, the Egyptian government shut down Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and other social networking sites. This extreme form of government repression and censorship reminds me of the Iranian protests after their June 2009 election was allegedly rigged. The main difference between these protests and those of the Green Movement in Iran is that the Egyptian regime is a staunch ally of the US, whereas the Iranian government is Americas top foe in the region. This fact makes for an extremely delicate challenge for the Obama administration.
How should the U.S. respond when a democratic revolution threatens to topple a government that serves our interests?
In his State of the Union, the President spoke of the ideas our nation was founded upon. Perhaps the two most fundamental ideas of the American revolution was that all people have the rights to liberty and to govern their own affairs. The political repression in Egypt is on par with the harshest in the world. The economy has been horribly mismanaged for years. Egyptians don’t have certain inalienable rights. America’s fundamental values from which American exceptionalism is derived – liberty, democracy, and the pursuit of happiness – are in direct conflict with a state which protects our core vital interests i.e. counter-terrorism, cheap flow of oil through the Suez Canal, as well as mediation in regional issues such as Gaza, Lebanon, and Iran. Our values conflict with our realpolitik national interests. Historically, for the United States the later has nearly always trumped the former; our core vital interests as a state override our the values we profess to uphold.
But this is the wrong time to forsake our values. Not only is standing on the side of freedom and democracy the right thing to do, if the calculation of the United States’ core interests is made with a long-term view, it is also in the best interest of the United States. Mubarak is 84 years old and sick, the population is young, unemployed and restless, and inflation is off the charts. These protests may or may not topple the regime, but they have already made the US support for Mubarak more costly. Mubarak’s succession is imminent. One way or another he will be replaced soon. Rather than attempting to prop him (or his son) up indefinitely, the United States should support the people of Egypt, both in words and deeds by using its immense leverage with the Egyptian government to make serious, democratic reforms.
Like all revolutions, the one gathering steam in Egypt is multifarious. Thus, it is difficult to tell whether the next government of Egypt (whenever it comes) will be closer in political outlook to the Muslim Brotherhood or Mohammed El-Baraedi. The US would certainly prefer the later, but that is not a choice for the US to make. Instead it should distance itself from the Mubarak regime (something the Obama administration is already beginning to do). The US should also seek better relations with future power brokers in Egypt, so that when power changes hands the US will be more likely to find common ground with the new regime.