Friday, March 18, 2011

Egypt's Security Forces dissolved & UN Security Council No-Fly Zone (Libya)

Earlier this week the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces dissolved Egypt's Security Forces (i.e., the police).  The security forces will be replaced with a new National Security Force tasked with serving "the nation without interfering in the lives of citizens or their right to exercise their political rights".   Here is a Reuter's article about this:

Here is an article from the Egyptian Gazette on the same issue:

Here is a video of an Egyptian student at American University School of Law who works as a public prosecutor in Cairo.  His insights about the Egyptian Security Forces are particularly interesting in light of the announcement that the security forces have now been dissolved.   His view of the revolution and how it has made everything possible is inspiring. 
This video can also be viewed at this link:

Other news:

*  There is a referendum on the proposed Constitutional amendments tomorrow.   There are many critics of these amendments, but most Egyptians I've spoken to think they will pass nonetheless, partly because those opposing them (like the youth) as not as well-organized in electoral politics as those supporting the amendments such as the Muslim Brotherhood and parts of Mubarak's party, the National Democratic Party.   

*  Yesterday an administrative court in Cairo heard a case brought against Hosni Mubarak and internet providers regarding their cutting of internet for almost a week on January 27.  Here's a link to that article:

Here's a chart printed in the Egyptian Gazette showing internet usage in Egypt when it was cut:  

* An Al Jazeera reporter in Bengazi, Libya reports the UN Security Council voted 10 in favor with 5 abstentions [Russia, China, India, Germany and Brazil] to establish a No-Fly Zone and to use “any necessary means” to preserve civilian life in Libya.  

Here's some highlight from the resolution:

*  The resolution authorizes member states "to take all necessary measures... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory..." 

* calls for "strict implementation of the arms embargo"

* "Decides that all States shall deny permission to any aircraft registered in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or owned or operated by Libyan nationals or companies to take off from, land in or overfly their territory unless the particular flight has been approved in advance by the Committee, or in the case of an emergency landing";

*   Decides that the asset freeze..."shall apply to all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Libyan authorities,"

The entire text of the UN resolution, #1973, can be read at this link:

 Masses of people in Bengazi are celebrating, screaming and waving flags after the UN Security Council resolution was passed.  I saw an Egyptian flag waving in the crowd.  The reporter said the people of Bengazi believe they have won.  Canada is sending warplanes to enforce the no-fly zone.  Italy has volunteered its bases to be used to enforce the no-fly zone.

Here's a picture of the UN Security Council voting for this resolution.

Here's a photo of Libyan protesters from Bengazi pleading for the U.N. Security Council during earlier protests.

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