Foreigners not targeted in Egypt

2011-01-31 12:47

South Africans in Egypt need not panic as protesters are not targeting foreign nationals in their bid to force president Hosni Mubarak to resign, the international relations and co-operation department said today.

“There is absolutely no need for people to panic, including people who may have relatives there,” spokesperson Clayson Monyela said.

“Their lives are not in danger, we are keeping touch with all of them. Protesters are not targeting foreign nationals.”

South African embassy staff in Egypt had travelled to the airport in Cairo to speak to South Africans waiting there for a flight and advise them on their options.

These included making use of seats offered on some of the airlines that had resumed flying in and out of the country.

Although some were not flying directly to South Africa, those eager to leave could at least travel to another country.

Embassy staff said there were long queues at the airport, but at least people had that travel option.

To the department’s knowledge no South Africans had been injured in protests.

Foreign news sources reported over 100 deaths in the protests since they flared up last week.

Monyela said, otherwise, people should remain indoors, unless there was something essential they had to do.

“They should stay put where they are.”

They should also get in touch with the SA embassy if they required updates.

Earlier, the Cape Times quoted embassy staffer James Useni saying he had watched people try to burn tanks, and had seen someone killed.

Monyela said there was a “significant” number of South Africans in the country.

Agencies reported that there was a call for an indefinite strike from tomorrow, and a “million man march” against Mubarak, who has ruled for 30 years.

Under pressure, he appointed his first vice-president on Saturday, after firing his cabinet.

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