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Egypt's VP ElBaradei sets out reasons for resignation

Resigning the vice presidency, Mohamed ElBaradei warns that 'extremist groups' will be the only beneficiaries of Wednesday's forced dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins

Ahram Online, Wednesday 14 Aug 2013
Mohamed ElBaradei
Mohamed ElBaradei (Photo: Reuters)
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Egyptian Vice President for International Affairs Mohamed ElBaradei submitted his resignation Wednesday in a letter to the interim president, implying his objections to the interim government's policy represented in the deadly crackdown on tens of thousands of supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

"It has become hard for me to keep bearing responsibility for decisions that I did not approve of and warned against their consequences," said ElBaradei's resignation letter. "I cannot be responsible before God for a single drop of blood."

ElBaradei, a longtime diplomat and leading member of Egypt's opposition umbrella group, the National Salvation Front, resigned after scores were killed in a crackdown by security forces on loyalists of Morsi, ousted by the military in July. ElBaradei said the bloodshed could have been avoided.

"It was hoped that the people's uprising of 30 June would steer the country back into the path of achieving the revolution's goals after the dominating, exclusionary policies practiced by the groups that ruled the country for one of its worst years," he continued. "This is what drove me to accept a government position, but things took a different direction where polarisation and division reached more dangerous levels and the social fabric faced disintegration."

ElBaradei had mentioned, in a television interview two weeks ago, that he repeatedly warned army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and other members of the National Defence Council against adopting a security solution to the country's political crisis.

"I believed that there were acceptable peaceful alternatives to resolve our societal confrontation that could have stood a chance at achieving national reconciliation," he added. "Violence begets violence, and mark my words, the only beneficiaries from what happened today are extremist groups."

Meanwhile, Deputy head of Salafist Nour Party Nader Bakkar described ElBaradie’s resignation as “the least he could do.”

Bakkar, who spoke to Ahram Arabic news website, also said his party, which opposed a violent crackdown on the sit-ins, did not expect the government's “irreverence to bloodshed” would reach such level.

The party’s spokesman Sherif Taha called Elbaradie’s resignation “a step on the right path,” stating that Egypt ‘desperately’ needs national reconciliation.

Deadly violence has spiralled in several governorates following moves to disperse the two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo, prompting the interim government to declare a state of emergency and a 7pm to 6am curfew for a period of one month.

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