Friday, February 11, 2011

Egypt: 2 12 2011

Hosni Mubarak resigns – and Egypt celebrates a new dawn

• President surrenders power to army and flies out of Cairo
• Egypt rejoices as 18 days of mass protest end in revolution
• Military pledges not to get in way of 'legitimate' government
Mubarak's resignation prompted celebrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Photograph: Suhaib Salem/Reuters
When it finally came, the end was swift. After 18 days of mass protest, it took just over 30 seconds for Egypt's vice-president, Omar Suleiman, to announce that President Hosni Mubarak was standing down and handing power to the military.

"In the name of Allah the most gracious the most merciful," Suleiman read. "My fellow citizens, in the difficult circumstances our country is experiencing, President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak has decided to give up the office of the president of the republic and instructed the supreme council of the armed forces to manage the affairs of the country. May God guide our steps."

Moments later a deafening roar swept central Cairo. Protesters fell to their knees and prayed, wept and chanted. Hundreds of thousands of people packed into Tahrir Square, the centre of the demonstrations, waving flags, holding up hastily written signs declaring victory, and embracing soldiers.

"We have brought down the regime, we have brought down the regime," chanted the crowd...more

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