Egypt marks fifth anniversary of 2011 revolution

2016-01-25 15:33
An Egyptian national flag flutters over Cairo's Tahrir Square on January 24, 2016, on the eve of the anniversary of the 2011 uprising. (Khaled Desouki, AFP)

An Egyptian national flag flutters over Cairo's Tahrir Square on January 24, 2016, on the eve of the anniversary of the 2011 uprising. (Khaled Desouki, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Egypt is set to mark the fifth anniversary of the 2011 revolution on Monday that toppled long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak, as residents witnessed a security forces build-up in the streets of the capital, Cairo.

In a televised speech on Sunday, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi paid tribute to the January 25 uprising, pointing out that protesters killed during the 18-day revolt had sought to revive "noble principles" and found a "new Egypt".

Sisi's praise followed a recent spate of arrests and a heightened security presence in Cairo.

The build-up of security forces reflects the government's resolve that the occasion will not be marked by popular demonstrations or attacks by armed groups.

The president's speech came just one day after Sisi, a soldier-turned-politician who won office in 2014 following a landslide election victory, praised the country's police and vowed a firm response to any threat to the country's stability.

‘Not the Egypt of yesterday’

His nod to the police ran against growing complaints by rights activists that the force has returned to Mubarak-era practices like torture, random arrests and, more recently, forced disappearances.

Police brutality was among the complaints that drove Egyptians to take part in the 2011 uprising.

Sisi said the 2011 uprising had deviated from its course and was forcibly hijacked for "personal gains and narrow interests".

That was a thinly veiled reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been banned and declared a terrorist organisation after Sisi, as military chief, led the ouster in July 2013 of president Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood.

The "June 30 revolution" - a reference to the day in 2013 when millions of Egyptians demonstrated on the streets against the rule of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood - corrected the course of the 2011 uprising, Sisi said.

That revolution, he said, took place to "restore the free will of Egyptians and continue to realise their legitimate aspirations and deserved ambitions".

"Egypt today is not the Egypt of yesterday. We are building together a modern, developed and civilian state that upholds the values of democracy and freedom," he said of the two-and-a-half years since the removal of Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president.

"Democratic experiences don't mature overnight, but rather through a continuing and accumulative process," he said, before emphasising the need to exercise "responsible freedom" to avoid "destructive chaos".

The rhetoric, and insistence that gradual democratisation is key to stability, mirrored that of Mubarak during his 29-year authoritarian rule.


Sisi has since 2013 presided over what the human rights group Amnesty International describes as an "unprecedented" crackdown on dissenters.

Thousands of Brotherhood supporters, as well as scores of liberal, pro-democracy activists have been detained.

In the recent days, security forces have questioned residents and searched over 5 000 apartments in Cairo's downtown, an area whose cafes, theatres and art galleries have been popular with young, pro-democracy activists.

Administrators of Facebook pages organising protests have also been detained.

Sisi's supporters, including several high-profile TV presenters and talk show hosts, have often justified actions by the police and security agencies as necessary to spare Egypt from chaos and bloodshed.

Read more on:    egypt

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.