x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Countdown to the fall of Hosni Mubarak

Since the Tunisian vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazizi died of self-inflicted burns just five and a half weeks ago, an avalanche has swept across North Africa.

Anti-government protesters wave Egyptian flags in front of an army tank as demonstrators at Cairo;s Tahrir Square react after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.
Anti-government protesters wave Egyptian flags in front of an army tank as demonstrators at Cairo;s Tahrir Square react after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

It all began with some heavy-handed police-work in a small Tunisian town, and has now seen the downfall of two of the longest-lasting regimes in the Arab world.  Here is a timeline of the events in the uprising against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who stepped down on Friday February 11.

December 17, 2010 - In Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi sets fire to himself in the central town of Sidi Bouzid in protest at confiscation by police of his vegetable cart. Local people demonstrate in support.

January 4, 2011 - Bouazizi dies of his burns. Huge funeral adds momentum to protests against unemployment and repression.

January 14 - After days of clashes in which dozens are killed, and having made empty promises of reforms and elections, Tunisia's President Zine al Abidine Ben Al flees to Saudi Arabia.

January 25 - Thousands of Egyptians demand an end to President Hosni Mubarak's rule and clash with police in a "Day of Wrath" inspired by Mr Ben Ali's downfall.

January 26 - In unprecedented scenes, police fight with thousands of Egyptians who defy a government ban to protest against Mr Mubarak's rule.

January 27 - Mohamed ElBaradei, reform campaigner and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, arrives in Cairo.




January 28 - At least 24 people are killed and more than 1,000 hurt in clashes throughout Egypt. Mr Mubarak extends a curfew to all cities. Mr Mubarak orders troops and tanks into cities overnight to quell demonstrations. Thousands cheer at the news of the intervention of the army, which is seen as neutral, unlike the police who are regularly deployed to stifle dissent.

January 29 - Mr Mubarak sacks his cabinet but refuses to step down. Protesters stream back into Cairo's central Tahrir Square in the early hours after Mr Mubarak's announcement. Mr Mubarak names his intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, as vice-president. Thousands of protesters roam the streets after a curfew starts. Egyptians form vigilante groups to guard property against looters.

January 31 - The army says it will not use force against Egyptians staging protests. It says freedom of expression is guaranteed to all citizens using peaceful means. Egypt swears in a new government. Mr Suleiman says Mr Mubarak has asked him to start dialogue with all political forces. Thousands in Tahrir Square hours after curfew, in a good-natured gathering, call for the president to quit.

February 1 - Mr Mubarak declares he will surrender power when his term ends in September, offering a mixture of concessions and defiance in a televised statement. Around one million Egyptians protest throughout the country for Mr Mubarak to step down immediately.

February 2 - The army calls for protesters to leave the streets and curfew hours are eased. Troops make no attempt to intervene as violence breaks out between pro- and anti-Mubarak groups in Tahrir Square. The government rejects US and European calls for political transition to start immediately.

February 3 - Gunmen fire on anti-government protesters in Cairo, where about 10 are killed and more than 830 injured in fighting. The UN estimates that 300 people have died in the unrest.

Feb 4 - Thousands gather in Tahrir Square to press again for an end to Mr Mubarak's rule in a "Day of Departure".

February 5 - Gamal Mubarak, son of the president, resigns from the leadership of Egypt's ruling party.

February 6 - Opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, hold talks with the government, chaired by the vice-president. They say a core demand for the removal of Mr Mubarak is not met. The sides agree to draft a road map for talks and a committee is set up to study constitutional issues. Banks re-open after a week-long closure. Thousands gather in Tahrir Square joining noon prayers to honor "martyrs" killed in the bloodshed.

February 7 - State news agency MENA reports Mr Mubarak has set up two committees to draw up changes to the constitution. The stock market remains closed, to reopen on February 13. Opposition figures report little progress in talks with the government.

February 8 - Egyptians stage one of their biggest protests. Vice-president Suleiman says Egypt has a timetable for the peaceful transfer of power. He promises no reprisals against the protesters.

February 9 - Four people are killed and several wounded in clashes between security forces and about 3,000 protesters in the western province of New Valley, south of Cairo. Pro-democracy protesters consolidate a new encampment around Cairo's parliament building as Tahrir Square remains crowded. Protesters say organisers are working on plans to move on to the state radio and television building on February 11.

February 10 - On the 17th day of protests against his rule, Mr Mubarak says Egypt is heading "day after day" to a peaceful transfer of power and he was committed to protect the constitution until that happens. He hands powers to his vice-president but spurned protesters' demands that he quit office immediately. He also expressed regret over protesters' deaths.

February 11 - Mr Mubarak steps down, handing over to the army and ending 30 years of rule. Mr Suleiman says a military council will run the affairs of the Arab world's most populous nation. Thousands break down in tears, celebrate and hug each other chanting: "The people have brought down the regime."