Egyptian Army Under Attack as Protestors Stand Firm in Tahrir Square

Egyptian Army Under Attack as Protestors Stand Firm in Tahrir Square

Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo was the hotspot of the January 25 Revolution, and it continues to host the protests that ousted Mubarak and his corrupt regime.

Once again, in early April, Tahrir Square was the scene of demonstrations where thousands returned to the Square, voicing their protest and demanding that former president Hosni Mubarak and members of his ousted regime face trial face as people accused them of corruption, vote-rigging and abuse of dissidents.

These demands are not new, as bringing Mubarak and his regime to justice was the central aim of the popular movement that toppled Mubarak in February 2011, after his thirty-year, iron-fisted rule. Protestors fear that officials who were powerful during the Mubarak era will sneak back into power now that the country is in the transitional stage with military rule preparing to hand over power to a civilian government.

A lot of protestors believe that the current military rulers are too slow in meeting these and other demands to transform the country’s political arena.

The problem facing the Egyptian people now is that those who killed protestors during the revolution, those who usurped money from the country, and those who rigged the elections are still walking free in Egypt.

Until now, no one has been prosecuted, and the army is making decisions slowly which is causing the people’s frustration to grow.

The Egyptians are now after top figures in the former regime and all those associated with it, which includes businessmen, politicians and security officials.

A travel ban was imposed on Thursday by Justice Ministry officials on three top associates of Mubarak, under suspicion of corruption.

A number of ex-officials are facing trial on corruption charges. The Interior Minister along with other security officials have been charged the deaths of some of the estimated 300 people killed during the crackdown on protests, which started January 25. Mubarak and his family have also been placed under house arrest and their assets abroad have been frozen.

Protestors on Friday, however, note that until now no trial dates have been set and no charges have been filed against Mubarak since he was ousted from power. The theme of the protest on Friday was a reflection of the people’s fear; they called it: “The Friday for Rescuing the Revolution.”

People are well-aware that the aims of the revolution are a long way from being fulfilled and they are afraid that any results made so far may be taken away.

Many believe the army is stalling for time; trying to keep the people satisfied while making a space for former officials to wriggle their way back into significant positions. In a bid to confront the situation, protestors raided the State Security agency last month, and took documents to save them from being destroyed to hide evidence of human rights abuses.

Protestors on Friday called for Mubarak to face justice and some even called for his public execution.

Even though the army promises it will secure the transition to civilian power , assuring that parliamentary elections will be held in September and presidential elections a month or two after, protestors are demanding more.

The Mubarak regime did a lot of damage within Egyptian society pitting one group against the other and now the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been used as a bogeyman by the regime, is reassuring Egyptians— especially Christians — that they have no intention to oppress them and that it will, in fact, protect their rights as they have done for decades.

The protests in Tahrir Square that continued on April 9, 2011 were a further extension of past demonstrations. Protestors, mainly the youth, believed the greatest danger facing the revolution is the remnants of the Mubarak regime who wish to restore their positions.

The army ended the April 9 sit in violently, using excessive force that ended in the death of 1 person and injuring 71 according to official statistics. The Egyptian people are now justifiably concerned about further clashes between them and the army.

The January25 Revolution made momentous achievements in just 18 days; however, the military government is making painfully slow decisions, enabling the media to play with the facts. The way of the military government is frighteningly similar to the former regime and Egyptian youth are despondent with the recurrent parenthood perspective and commandership over the people while the people themselves seek democracy, liberty and freedom of expression.

The army’s decision to use excusive force on the protestors regardless of the disastrous results is politically foolish and irresponsible.

The protestors are calling for transparency and accountability from the council to rebuild trust between the people and the army.  The Egyptian army has to restore its reputation because of their slow reaction to events and their lack of transparency and accountability concerning the attacks of the military police against civilians.

The media also has a role to play in handling the aggression of the most recent demonstrations as hiding the truth during this critical time will only give the enemies of the revolution a change to spread their lies.