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Mubarak's rule erodes beneath him

By Miles Bett, Columnist

As I am sure you have read over the past few days, Egypt is in the midst of a nationwide rebellion that has seen mass protests throughout the nation and a curfew imposed upon all those within cities. The curfew has been largely ignored and according to the BBC, over 10,000 people thronged the streets of Cairo after dark, some were even seen clambering over the military vehicles that have been set up throughout the city to act as a safeguard for national and governmental buildings.

The curfew the military has had little affect when it comes to quelling the rebellion. In one photo you can even see a military commander tearing up a picture of the president that has ruled for the past 30 years. Having never been to Egypt and certainly having never lived there, I cannot personally attest to President Mubarak's reign but if this uprising is anything like the kind Tunisia saw in December, and that is still going on, Mr. Mubarak will have only a short time left in office.

In case you were unaware Tunisia, a small North African nation, had its own uprising which many believe may have prompted Egypt to rebel. In Tunisia the revolt saw the end of their current government with their president fleeing to Saudi Arabia. To me at least, it seems as though Egypt may well be on its way towards such an action as Mr. Mubarak has, for the first time, appointed a Vice President. One can assume it was to soothe the escalating tension. Clearly that course of action failed.

A problem that faces Mr. Mubarak is the same one that faced the Tunisian president Ben Ali. This past Friday, 30 protesters were shot and killed by the police. Much the same took place in Tunisia and as one would expect that did little to stop the rebellion.

In fact, with those deaths came the strongest surge of revolt. So far the deaths in Egypt have not had quite the same affect. This past weekend the demonstrations seemed peaceful and with the military there one can only hope that there is not escalation of violence. However, there is another problem that faces both the demonstrators and the government. Namely where does the military stand in this situation?

According to the BBC, two fighter jets flew low over Cairo and the demonstrators were unsure whether it was to be taken as a warning or a sign of support. The government didn't issue a response or explanation so the question hangs in the air.

With the military on the fence, or at least seen as being that way, one can only hope, for the sake of Egypt its people and its allies that this rebellion ends peacefully, with the change that is needed and without the bloodshed that is feared.

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