ANC urges Egypt to respect life

2011-02-02 13:57

The ANC today urged Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Party to respect human life and protect the freedom of its citizens during mass anti-government protests.

“The ANC appeals primarily to the National Democratic Party of Egypt to play its necessary and critical role in ensuring that during this period of unprecedented mass protests, there is respect for the sanctity of human life and the protection of fundamental freedoms of all citizens,” ANC international relations head Ebrahim Ebrahim said.

Protesters want President Hosni Mubarak, in his 30th year in power, to step down immediately. He has pledged not to stand for re-election.

According to an Agence France Presse report about 300 people have been killed and 3 000 injured during the protests.

The ANC further expressed concern about North Africa, after similar protests led to the ousting of Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Ebrahim said stability on the continent was “paramount” to consolidating the “African agenda”.

“The consolidation of this agenda includes, among others, a realisation by African leaders that political power is only legitimate if it is derived from the genuine wishes of those who are supposed to be governed,” he said.

The ANC was worried about the effects of the instability in Egypt. The country was playing a pivotal role in Middle East peace efforts, including facilitating talks between warring Palestinian factions.

The ANC called on Mubarak’s party and other political parties to help bring about a “credible democratic process”.

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