Report: Egyptian Army Says It Won’t Use Force Against Protesters

An interesting,  perhaps game changing, report from Sky News:

The Egyptian army has said it will not use force against protesters calling for the removal of President Hosni Mubarak ahead of a “million people” march.

The military said it considers the people’s demands “legitimate”.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of protesters have ignored a curfew, troops and police by returning to Cairo’s main square in a seventh day of demonstrations.

By this afternoon, between 10,000 and 30,000 people descended on the capital’s Tahrir (Liberation) Square, with many shouting slogans and waving placards calling for Mr Mubarak to step down.

Now, it has begun to calm down but there are many thousands still there.

I understand that organisers have told the bulk of protesters to go home and rest before they return tomorrow morning at 10am.

Al-Jazeera is also passing along this news:

7:13pm Opposition groups continue to call for a “million man march” and a general strike on Tuesday to commemorate one week since the protest movement began. Meanwhile, the military has reiterated that it will not attempt to hurt protesters.

As 250,000 gathered around Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Monday, President Mubarak asked his new prime minister, Ahmad Shafiq, to start talks with the opposition. It has yet to be seen whether the broad coalition of Egyptian opposition groups – students, web activists, leftists, liberals, and Islamists – will manage to come together.

Without the military behind him, it’s hard to see how Mubarak can hold on for much longer.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.