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Defence and Security Strategy

It’s what might be regarded as Egypt’s sorrow, hence the world was unanimous in its condemnation of the orgiastic killings in that country yesterday, Wednesday, August 14th, 2013, which according to Egyptian Authorities left about 460 dead. But the Brotherhoods disputed the Interim Government’s statistics, claiming the number of deaths was more-above 2000.

 

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned in the strongest terms yesterday’s violence that occurred in Cairo when Egyptian security services used force to clear sit-ins and demonstrations, and urged all Egyptians to focus on promoting inclusive reconciliation.

The crackdown came just days after Mr. Ki-moon renewed his call for all sides in Egypt to reconsider their actions in light of new political realities and the imperative to prevent further loss of life.

“The Secretary-General regrets that Egyptian authorities chose instead to use force to respond to the ongoing demonstrations,” his spokesperson said in a statement.

While the UN is still gathering precise information about Wednesday’s events, the statement said it appears that hundreds of people were killed or wounded in clashes between security forces and demonstrators demanding the reinstatement of deposed President Mohammed Morsi.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ki-moon has extended his condolences to the families of those killed and his wishes for a full and speedy recovery to those injured.

“In the aftermath of the Wednesday’s violence, the Ki-moon urged all Egyptians to concentrate their efforts on promoting genuinely inclusive reconciliation,” his spokesperson said.

“While recognizing that political clocks do not run backwards, the Secretary-General also believes firmly that violence and incitement from any side are not the answers to the challenges Egypt faces,” he added.

Mr. Ki-moon knows that the vast majority of the Egyptian people are weary of disruptions to normal life caused by demonstrations and counter-demonstrations, and want their country to go forward peacefully in an Egyptian-led process towards prosperity and democracy, he further stated.

Given the country’s rich history and diversity of views and experiences, it is not unusual for Egyptians to disagree on the best approach forward, the statement noted.

“What is important, in the Secretary-General’s view, is that differing views be expressed respectfully and peacefully,” the spokesperson said, adding that to Mr. Ki-moon’s regret, “that is not what happened yesterday.”

Egypt has been undergoing a democratic transition following the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak two years ago in the wake of mass protests. Last month, renewed protests – in which dozens of people were killed and wounded – led to the Egyptian military deposing Mr. Morsi. The Constitution was then suspended and an interim government set up.

Also, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton strongly condemned the violence in Egypt that claimed scores of lives yesterday (14 August) and urged the interim government to end a state of emergency as soon as possible.

She said: "I strongly condemn the violence that has erupted in Cairo and throughout Egypt," Ashton said in a statement, adding that the violence left Egypt "heading into an uncertain future. I call on the security forces to exercise utmost restraint and on the interim government to end the state of emergency as soon as possible, to allow the resumption of normal life.”

Whilst British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was deeply concerned at the escalating violence in Egypt and condemned the use of force in clearing protestors.

Speaking yesterday in London, Secretary Hague said: I am deeply concerned at the escalating violence and unrest in Egypt, and regret the loss of life on all sides. The UK has been closely involved in intensive diplomatic efforts directed at reaching a peaceful resolution to the standoff. I am disappointed that compromise has not been possible. I condemn the use of force in clearing protests and call on the security forces to act with restraint. Leaders on all sides must work to reduce the risk of further violence. Only then will it be possible to take vital steps towards dialogue and reconciliation.

It should here be stressed that Egypt has been undergoing a democratic transition following the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak two years ago in the wake of mass protests. Last month, renewed protests – in which dozens of people were killed and wounded – led to the Egyptian military deposing Mr. Morsi. The Constitution was then suspended and an interim government set up.