Top News: Egyptian Military Gives Forty-Eight-Hour Ultimatum to Brotherhood, Political Forces

Top News: Egyptian Military Gives Forty-Eight-Hour Ultimatum to Brotherhood, Political Forces

The armed forces are giving all political forces forty-eight hours as a last chance to address ongoing problems, or else the armed forces will announce a new roadmap for the future, and will enforce certain measures with the help of all factions including the youth, without excluding anyone.


Egyptian military gives forty-eight-hour ultimatum to Brotherhood, political forces
The armed forces are giving all political forces forty-eight-hours as a last chance to address ongoing problems, or else the armed forces will announce a new roadmap for the future, and will enforce certain measures with the help of all factions including the youth, without excluding anyone. [Ahram Online, 7/1/2013]

Protests raging across Egypt governorates; opposition calls for civil disobedience
Thousands arrived in Tahrir Square on Monday morning to join the sit-in that has been taking place since Sunday. Sunday’s protests were the largest since the revolt against Mubarak, and Tahrir’s festive atmosphere was largely reminiscent of those days, except for the obvious absence of Islamists, who have staged a separate rally to support the president. Meanwhile, the June 30 Front issued a statement on Monday calling on Egyptians to immediately start civil disobedience, urging citizens to stay on the streets until President Mohamed Morsi steps down. [Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 7/1/2013]

Muslim Brotherhood HQ stormed and ransacked
Dozens of protesters stormed and ransacked the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in eastern Cairo on Monday morning following all-night clashes.State-run news agency MENA said the break-in happened after Brotherhood members who had been defending the building from inside fled in a car. During their escape, the Islamists let off a volley of fire, reportedly bringing the death toll in the Moqattam clashes to seven, with forty-five others injured overnight. Also on Sunday, anti-Morsi protesters stormed Muslim Brotherhood and FJP headquarters in Sharqiya and Gharbiya in the Nile Delta, Assiut in Upper Egypt, and in Qalyubiya. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, 7/1/2013]

Presidency open to dialogue
Egypt’s presidency held a press conference on Sunday night at the presidential palace in Cairo, where spokesman Omar Amer stressed the presidency’s respect for the demands of the street but also emphasized the need for dialogue. The press conference was the second to take place on Sunday, following an earlier one at 5 p.m. Meanwhile, the National Salvation Front, the main opposition coalition, called on protesters to remain peaceful and continue their revolution until “a transition of power is fulfilled.” [Daily News Egypt, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 6/30/2013]  

Foreign Minister in Tripoli talks with Arab League
An Arab League delegation has been in Tripoli talking with Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdulaziz about Libya’s security situation. Government sources said that the delegation also looked at how the League could help with the elections for the 60 Committee, which will frame the new constitution. The meeting also focused on building an effective criminal justice system, with courts and prisons meeting international standards, as well as talk about national reconciliation and the promotion of national dialogue. [Libya Herald, 6/30/13]

Zidan travels to Moscow
After returning from the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Ali Zidan announced that he would travel to Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin. The visit to Moscow coincides with today’s opening of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit, of which Libya is a member. There is speculation that the real purpose of his trip is the resumption of arms sales and the restart of the railway project. [Libya Herald, 7/1/13]

Libya wants to join European security body
Libya has applied to become a partner of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe in a move that, if successful, will mean it will join Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco in this Vienna-based body. The OSCE’s Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier welcomed Libya’s application, “which recognises the mutual benefit of stronger cooperation between our regions. The OSCE has a wealth of experience and expertise to share with Libya as it builds a new future.” [Libya Herald, 6/29/13]

PM and army chief at loggerheads over “inadequate” funding
The row between Prime Minister Ali Zidan and the acting army chief of staff Salem Gnaidi deepened today when Gnaidi flatly rejected Zidan’s contention that the army had received sufficient funding to allow it to intervene in the inter-militia fighting that gripped parts of Tripoli this week. Meanwhile, the defense committee of the General National Congress (GNC) will in the coming week reveal a shortlist of five senior army officers from which the full GNC will choose the new chief of staff after the resignation of Yousef Mangoush following the deaths of thirty-one people in clashes between a militia and protesters in Benghazi. [Libya Herald, 6/28/13]

Assad’s forces battle to tighten control of central Syria
President Bashar al-Assad’s forces pounded Sunni Muslim rebels in the city of Homs with artillery and from the air on Sunday, the second day of their offensive in central Syria, activists said. Rebels defending the old center of Homs and five adjacent Sunni districts had largely repelled a ground attack on Saturday by Assad’s forces, backed by guerrillas from the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah, but reported clashes and deaths within the city on Sunday. [Reuters, 7/1/2013]

Syria neighbors block thousands from fleeing: rights group
Syria’s neighbors have closed or tightened restrictions at several border crossings, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded within Syria’s dangerous frontier regions, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey had all restricted the flow of people trying to flee a conflict. Only Lebanon, which has limited control over its own borders and is now hosting over half a million refugees, had remained open to refugees, the rights group said. [NOW/AFP, 7/1/2013]

Gulf Arabs call for Security Council meeting to prevent Homs massacre
Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) called for an urgent United Nations Security Council meeting to prevent a massacre from taking place in the Syrian central city of Homs. “Considering the Syrian regime’s insistence on ethnic and sectarian cleansing, as recently happened near Homs, and its use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, the continued siege of Homs is inhumane and threatens a massacre,” said a GCC statement. [Al Arabiya/AFP, 7/1/2013]

Syrian regime still controls key Idlib roads
Although Idlib province in northwest Syria is often described as “liberated territory,” the Syrian army still controls several cities, including Idlib, and several local military camps. Major roads between Idlib and neighboring provinces, including the Hama-Idlib road, which is part of the international highway between Aleppo and Damascus, were returned to regime control two months ago. [Al-Monitor/As-Safir, 6/28/2013]

Debate on new constitution closes after opposition deputies walk out in protest
Dozens of opposition deputies walked out of Tunisia’s constitutional assembly to protest against the final draft of a new constitution, forcing the closure of the session. Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly Monday began debating for the first time the draft constitution, which has been criticized by opponents of the Islamist-led government and took far longer to promulgate than originally planned. Several hundred people protested against the draft constitution outside parliament. [AP, Naharnet, 7/1/2013]

Vote on controversial political isolation law delayed
Several thousand members of the Union for Tunisia, a coalition of opposition parties led by Nida Tunis, gathered in front of Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly on Saturday to protest the controversial political isolation law. Tunisian lawmakers decided to postpone discussions and a final vote on the bill until after the debate on a new constitution, which began Monday. Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki broke with the majority of the ruling coalition by publicly opposing the Law for the Protection of the Revolution. [Magharebia, 6/30/2013, Tunisia Live, 7/1/2013]

Hundreds of refugees from Libya refuse to leave Tunisia camp
Several hundred people who fled the 2011 Libya conflict refused Sunday to leave the Choucha refugee camp in southern Tunisia, which was due to close, blocking attempts to dismantle their tents. Water and electricity supplies to the camp have been cut, but its remaining residents, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, are blocking any attempts to dismantle their tents.  [Naharnet, Libya Herald, 6/30/2013]

Cabinet convenes to discuss amendment to election Law
The Cabinet held an extraordinary meeting chaired by Prime Minister Mohamed Salem Basindwa to discuss a proposed amendment to the General Election and Referendum Law. The cabinet reviewed the amendment proposed by the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum, which contains a request to add an article to the General Election and Referendum Law for the establishment of a new electronic register of voters. [Saba, 6/30/2013]

General inspector to monitor Ministry of Interior
In his first statement since his appointment the General Inspector of the Security Forces Abdu Thabet al-Sobaihi told the Yemen Times that he will soon start to implement a monitoring mechanism within the Ministry of Interior. The position was recently created within the restructured Ministry of Interior with the assistance of a team of European, Jordanian, and Yemeni experts. The general inspector’s office will consist of four departments: a surveillance and inspection department, a department committed to corruption control and documenting police violations, a rights department, and a quality control department. [Yemen Times, 7/1/2013]

Hadi resolves parliamentary dispute
President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi has mediated a month-and-a-half-long dispute between the General People’s Congress (GPC) and the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) that led to the boycott of parliament sessions by the JMP. State-run Saba News Agency reported that Hadi held an urgent meeting in the presidential palace with parliament members and government ministers to resolve the dispute. [Yemen Times, 7/1/2013]

Yemen’s main oil export pipeline blown up
Tribesmen blew up Yemen’s main oil export pipeline on Sunday and it will likely be closed for a week, a local official said. Damage sustained during a previous attack on June 27 was fixed within hours, but repairs required after Sunday’s explosion will take longer. [Daily Star, 6/30/2013]

Surge of violence in Iraq raises fear of return to all-out bloodletting
More than 2,500 people were killed in Iraq in the past three months, United Nations figures showed on Monday, a surge of violence that has fanned fears the politically deadlocked country is slipping back into all-out bloodshed. [AFP, 7/1/2013]

Youth exclusion in Morocco squanders economic opportunities
Although youth unemployment rates in Morocco are high, they only partially portray the exclusion from the economic cycle that young people suffer. Official statistics indicate that about 90 percent of young women and about 40 percent of young men are either unemployed or part of the economically inactive groups. [Al Monitor, 6/30/2013]

Slow pace of peace process infuriates Kurds in Turkey
Turkish riot police used tear gas and water cannons Sunday to disperse thousands of demonstrators who gathered in the Kurdish-majority southeast on Sunday to press the Turkish government to advance the peace process. Some 8,000 demonstrators were gathered in front of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party building in Diyarbakir city for the “Government, take a step” rally. [Middle East Online, AFP, Hurriyet, [6/30/2013]

Photo: Gigi Ibrahim

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