Abayomi Adeshida with Agency reports
Embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has named his 74 year old intelligence chief as the Vice President, Omar Suleiman, a position he left vacant in the past 30 years as part of his plan to ensure that his son Gamal emerged after him without opposition.
The decision came as Arab countries in Nigeria notably Syria, Kuwait took extra security precautions as the street protests in Arab world become the latest disturbing trend in international political arena.
Mubarak who sacked his cabinet also appointed Ahmed Shafiq, a former Commander of the Airforce as the prime Minister as part of his ploy to use the military to stabilise his government in the wake of the prodemocracy fire that is raging in the most strategic Arab nation in geopolitical context.
But the protesters who defied the night curfew are insisting that Mubarak must leave and end his plan to impose his 42 year old son Gamal on the country. The United States and United Kingdom have urged the ailing Egyptian President to exercise restraint as he employs the tactics used by Iran to quell a similar protest that swept through the Persian nation in June last year. The riots is Egypt is being keenly watched round the world as the land of the Pharaohs is the largest Arab nation and holds the balance of power in the Middle East.
Egyptians have been on the streets for the past six days and the presence of military tanks and death of over seven people and more than 100 injured. But this has damped their desire to see the end of Mubarak’s autocratic rule. Most closely disturbed are Libya’s Muamar Gaddaffi who has been in power since 1968, the Sudanese President Omar Hassan El Bashir who came to power in I989.
There also apprehensions in Yemen where the citizens have taken to the streets to demand for political reforms that will end the 30 year one man rule in that country.
Mohammed ElBaradei, a Nobel laureate and former UN nuclear watchdog chief, who arrived in Cairo from Vienna, at the week end said the he would join mass protests but warned that violence was not the answer. Rather he urged restraint on both sides, but demanded that President Mubarak should adopt more political reforms. ElBaradei, said”It is a critical time in the life of Egypt. I have come to participate with the Egyptian people,”
He said “If people, in particularly young people, if they want me to lead the transition I will not let them down. My priority right now is to see a new Egypt and to see a new Egypt through peaceful transition,”.”I am still here hoping to continue to manage the process of change in an orderly way, in a peaceful way. I hope the regime will do the same.””I hope the regime will stop violence, stop detaining, stop torturing people.”The angry nationwide demonstrations have swelled into the largest uprising in three decades. The appointment of the new Vice President has been welcomed but Egyptians are demanding an end to the era of Mubarak.