Egyptians demand end to military rule

Issue 
Tahrir Square, January 27, 2012.

Egyptians massed in Tahrir Square on January 27 to press the ruling junta to transfer power to a civilian administration and put generals on trial for killing protesters during the popular uprising last year.

The protest was staged on the first anniversary of the "Friday of Rage," one of the bloodiest days of the 18-day wave of protests a year ago that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak. Police and soldiers killed and wounded hundreds of protesters.

Tensions erupted on January 27 when hundreds of protesters marched toward the defence ministry building and were met by dozens of supporters of the military. The pro-military group formed a human chain across the road but the protesters pushed through them.

Protester Ahmed al-Aish said the rally was to deliver a message to the military: "You must go."

The unstable alliance of Islamists and left-liberal, secular young people that powered last year's uprising is increasingly divided.

The left-leaning youth want the generals out immediately, accusing the military of being as dictatorial as Mubarak.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which is now the most powerful bloc in parliament, is willing to wait for the military's promises to step aside by the end of June.

[Abridged from Morning Star Online.]