Cabinet tells interior minister to control outlaws in Qena

Ahram Online, Wednesday 20 Apr 2011

Following the blocking off of road and rail links by protesters in Qena, the cabinet has ordered the interior minister to reassert order

The Egyptian cabinet has asked the minister of interior to face down all outlaws in Qena and to regain the security and stability of the country. Qena has been witnessing violent protests against the appointment of a new governor, Emad Shehata Michael, since last Thursday.  

This cabinet’s decision came after reviewing reports on the situation in Qena, submitted by both the minister of local development and the minister of interior. While the cabinet ensured the right of freedom of speech and of peaceful protest, it said it cannot stay silent regarding what is taking place in Qena.

Protesters, who in majority are Salafis, have been blocking road and rail links to the city since Thursday. However, protesters opened today the main roads to the city, keeping the rail links blocked after meeting with the Salafi figure Mohamed Hassan last night.

Thousands of locals have been protesting against last week's appointment of Michael. Their anger stems from the fact that he is the second Copt to hold the post, and to his previous career as an assistant in Giza security, including his role in the clamp down on protesters during the January 25 Revolution.

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