Ban Ki-moon makes appeal to Egyptians
Egyptian children run while holding a portrait of ousted president Mohamed Morsi during a demonstration in support of Morsi in Cairo, on August 9, 2013. AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called on Egyptians to prevent the further loss of life amid heightened tensions between supporters of ousted President Mohammad Mursi and the interim government.
Ban’s “immediate concern is for the leaders of Egypt, on all sides, to exercise their leadership and their responsibility to do whatever can be done to prevent further loss of life among the Egyptian people,” a statement from his spokesman read, according to AFP news agency.
The statement came on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Expressing deep concern over the political stalemate in the country, Ban said it was of critical importance that all sides in Egypt -- those in positions of authority as well as those protesting in the street – “urgently reconsider their current actions and language,” the statement read.
Ban “applauds the deep courage and commitment of the Egyptian people” towards peaceful change since mass protests began in January 2011.
“Yet in light of current tensions and given the risk of potential violence, the secretary-general also believes
Defiant Mursi supporters rallied in their thousands across Egypt on Friday, sparking clashes that left dozens injured, as interim premier Hazem el-Beblawi suggested that a crackdown on their protest camps was imminent.
The statement said the U.N. leader “urges Egyptians to set aside or avoid actions and words likely to be perceived by others as provocative. Instead they should try to look creatively at new approaches toward a genuinely inclusive political process that would be rooted in reconciliation.”
The U.N. leader also said he was confident “that the Egyptian people, representing one of the world’s great and historic civilizations, will successfully find a way forward.”