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Egypt delivered from Mubarak. “God bless the army”

And There you go. One more "autocrat" who takes the exit. Decidedly, Fridays are difficult days for the authoritarian Arab leaders, who have been in office for years.

On this departure, we can remember three facts. First, the fundamental role of the population. We had forgotten it, but the people, even in authoritarian countries, have their role to play. And it doesn't seem to be over.

Second: the fundamental role of the army (in Tunisia as in Egypt). An army which did not play the role of repression, but a civic role, of interposition as peaceful as possible, a revolutionary army as we had forgotten so much we were used to low blows and other coups d'etat. An army that was close connection with its American counterparts who have played a certain stabilizing role...

Third: Europe, and its chief diplomat, Cathy Ashton, have lagged behind in this month of crisis. But they now seem to want to catch up. So don't judge too quickly. But these last hours, which have seen an acceleration of history, have also seen the High Representative want, a little more than before, to catch up with history.

"Martyrs of freedom"

Mohamed Hussein Tantaoui, remember this name. The Egyptian Defense Minister presides over the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. One of the winners of this revolution. It was with the army that the situation did not degenerate further and that Mubarak left. "God bless the army" said a speaker on the BBC in the evening. Well Named. The Supreme Council has just spoken for the third in 24 hours since taking power. Its communiqué n°3 pays homage to President Mubarak. But he adds that " We must put in place radical changes, to meet the aspirations of our historic people. The victims of the demonstrations are also elevated to the rank of martyrs, for freedom ". The army thus shows that it wants to lead this revolution with the population. "Pourvou qu'ca doure" as Lætizia, Bonaparte's mother, said.

Europe alongside Egypt

In Brussels, Cathy Ashton, the EU's chief diplomat made a short statement to the press. A first. She had not spoken so far "in the flesh" in front of the press since the start of the crisis. " Europe will be there to give you all our support”. « We have a lot of history, a lot of knowledge, a lot of experience in building democracy and we offer that to the people of Egypt and those that will take forward for this transitional period and beyond and hope that they will have the opportunity to personally go and give that support in the near future”.

The High Representative paid tribute to the people of Egypt, "for their dignity and the calm in which they have conducted themselves during their last weeks". To those in charge of the transition period, we have high expectations they will deliver for the people ". " I hope what we will see is a plan, a transitional plan that takes people from here to those elections and beyond, that takes into account what people have been saying about their desire and what they want to achieve and then we can help to enable that process to happen by both the expertise and I think the resources we have to offer. »

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

One thought on “Egypt delivered from Mubarak. “God bless the army”"

  • I don't know, but I find it hard to be thrilled when I see the army take over… Not sure it will end as well as everyone hopes…

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