By Jim Kouri
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton this week discussed her concerns over the violence between protesters and police in Egypt. Most of the protesters are supporters of both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Party.
“I am deeply concerned about the continuing reports of violence in Egypt,” Clinton stated in a State Department press release.
“I urge Egyptian security forces to respect and protect the universal rights of all Egyptians, including the rights to peaceful free expression and assembly,” she said. “We call upon the Egyptian authorities to hold accountable those, including security forces, who violate these standards.”
Clinton also implored the protesters to refrain from acts of violence against the police or military.
According to latest figures from the State Department, the violent clashes between protesters and police in Cairo have left at least a dosen people dead and upwards of 500 wounded in the continuing riots.
Wednesday is the sixth day of riots that pitted the Islamist protesters against Egypt’s civilian security forces. The violence had erupted on Friday in front of the government and parliament buildings. Protesters attempted to invade the buildings and, failing that, set fire to government vehicles and parts of the government buildings.
More than 100 security force members were reportedly injured after protesters threw rock and debris, and tossed Molotov cocktails at police and security officials on Cairo streets.
The violence erupted just as the parliamentary election proceeded in that Arab nation. According to reports, the Muslim Brotherhood and the radical Islamic group the Salafists were winning a majority of the parliamentary races.
The three-stage election, set to end on January 10, 2012, went to its second stage on Wednesday and Thursday.
While Secretary Clinton uttered her plea for both side to show restraint and hold peaceful elections, the Obama administration and the president have been conspicuously silent about conditions in Egypt.
“The Obama White House sold the Egyptian uprising as a transition from a dictatorship to a democratically elected moderate Muslim government. But Obama’s Arab Spring is turning into an embarrassment. Either the administration deceived Americans about the intelligence gathered and analyzed or the administration was oblivious to the threats,” said former military intelligence officer and police commander Mike Snopes.
“Either way, this is another example of government incompetence,” he said.