SA condemns bloodshed in Egypt

first_img10 July 2013 The South African government has condemned the killing of dozens of people by Egyptian security personnel at a mass protest in Cairo, calling the act “shameful” and urging political parties in Egypt to take steps to avoid further loss of life. More than 50 people were killed, while over 400 were left wounded, at protests outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo on Monday. Tensions have been high after Egypt’s armed forces removed President Mohamed Morsi from his post last Wednesday after millions of protesters demanded his removal due to “maladministration” since he was elected a year ago. But supporters of the Islamist president condemned the move, calling it a conspiracy, and vowed to sacrifice their lives to defend Morsi’s legitimacy as leader of the country. The country’s constitution was also suspended. Adli Mansour has been sworn in as Egypt’s caretaker president. On Monday evening, he approved a constitutional declaration for the transitional period, which is set to last six months. Speaking to reporters in Pretoria on Tuesday, South African International Relations Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said tensions in Egypt were a major setback for the advancement of democracy on the continent. “The South African government is deeply perturbed about the potential negative impact of this event on peace, stability and security of Egypt and the region.” Ebrahim said the situation in Egypt was a serious breach of the African Union’s constitutive act and other relevant instruments, adding that Pretoria supported the decision by the African Union’s Peace and Security Counci to suspend the participation of Egypt in AU activities until the restitution of constitutional order in that country. Ebrahim urged the concerned parties in Egypt to resolve their differences through inclusive political dialogue and consultation in order to return to constitutional order through holding free, fair and inclusive elections. Pretoria also called on all parties to refrain from acts of violence, revenge and retribution. “We also call on Egyptians to embrace the spirit of national reconciliation, which will contribute positively to the establishment of long term political stability in Egypt,” Ebrahim said, adding that South Africa stood ready to share its experiences of political transition. All non-essential personnel and families attached to the South African embassy in Cairo have been temporarily withdrawn until the situation allows for their return. However, the embassy remains open and will continue rendering consular assistance. Source:

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