'Go home, you won't be harmed': Egypt's president tells Morsi supporters

Ahram Online, Saturday 27 Jul 2013

Interim President Adly Mansour calls on pro-Morsi demonstrators to call off their sit-ins, saying Egyptians have said 'there is no way back'

Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has called on supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi to call-off their sit-ins, promising they will not be harmed.

"I call on protesters in Al-Nahda Square and at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque [where Morsi supporters have been protesting in Cairo for almost a month] to go back home and I promise you will not be harmed," Mansour said in a telephone interview with Al-Hayat TV channel on Friday.

The president’s statements come amid ongoing pro-Morsi sit-ins and pro-army rallies nationwide after military chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called on the people to give the army and the police a "mandate" to combat "violence and terrorism."

Since the popularly-backed removal of the former president on 3 July, clashes between supporters and opponents of the toppled president have left more than100 dead on both sides.

Mansour further said that the state does not accept a loose security situation or repetitive cutting-off of vital roads.

He added that the state has "institutions that have to be respected."

Morsi supporters have repeatedly cut-off major roads around Cairo during their rallies, bringing traffic to a halt in the city.

Mansour also told pro-Morsi demonstrators that Egyptians have said "there is no way back."

On Friday, millions took to the streets in Cairo and Egypt’s governorates to heed El-Sisi’s call.

Mansour declared that he is a president "for all Egyptians" and not for a particular group, adding that the Egyptian people should "put aside their divisions."

The interim president also said that everyone who committed a crime will stand before justice, asserting that "there are no negotiations with those who committed crimes."

Thousands of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, also took to the streets to call for the president’s reinstatement. They also have maintained a sizeable vigil outside the Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo's populous Nasr City district for close to a month in protest.

Earlier on Friday, an Egyptian court ordered that the deposed president be detained for 15 days pending investigations for allegedly collaborating with Hamas to escape from Wadi El-Natroun Prison and destroy prison records during the 2011 uprising.

On Thursday, the army gave the Muslim Brotherhood until Saturday to sign up to national reconciliation as a way out of the current political strife.

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