Sunday, January 26, 2014

Egypt: 29 Killed Nationwide on the 3rd Anniversary of the Toppling of Hosni Mubarak

According to The Latin American Tribune, at least 29 people died Saturday (January 25) in clashes involving opposition demonstrators, government supporters and the police nationwide on the third anniversary of the start of a 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

Health Ministry spokesman Ahmed Kamel announced the death toll in a statement on state television, saying that another 167 people have been wounded in the clashes. Saturday’s bloodshed comes on top of the five people who were killed Friday and the 88 who were wounded.

Saturday’s killings occurred in the provinces of Cairo, Guiza that neighbors the capital, Alexandria in the north and Minya in the south.

COMMENT: Also on Saturday, riot police dispersed a number of protests organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and their Islamist allies at different points around Cairo, according to EFE.

Police also suppressed marches organized by revolutionary activists, such as the one called by the April 6 movement and the Journalists Union in the capital.

Against the protests of Islamists and activists, thousands of demonstrators gathered in the iconic Tahrir Square, protected by strong security countermeasures, in response to the interim government’s call to celebrate the third anniversary of the uprising that toppled Mubarak.

Based upon the political unrest depicted above, I continue to urge tourists to avoid Cairo and major cities in the country, unless they are entering and departing the country from SSH (Sharm el-Shiekh International Airport).

Please contact those airlines before assuming that flights are operating, as many carriers have ceased operation due to ongoing political unrest.

SSH is the third busiest airport in Egypt after Cairo and Hurghada.

Those who must travel to Egypt on either official business or essential travel requirements, should ensure through reputable local contacts that you will be able to accomplish your duties at your planned destinations prior to initiating travel plans.

Regardless of your destination in Egypt, do keep in mind that the last annual Crime and Safety Report issued by the US Department of State was released in February 2012. Thus, reporting that dated suggests that the situation in Cairo is at least "High" threat for crime and political violence, and perhaps even "Critical" for both, which is the highest level of threat on the Department's four-tier threat system of "Critical, High, Medium and Low."