Hosni Mubarak Steps Down, “Egypt is Free”
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has officially resigned. A short statement from Vice President Omar Suleiman, simply announced that Mubarak had stepped down and handed over control on the country to the military’s high counsel. This comes just a day after Mubarak insisted he would stay through the September elections.
Hosni Mubarak has apparently fled to his vacation home in Sharm el-Sheikh, a resort town on the South side of the Sinai Peninsula.
Millions of Egyptians who had flooded the streets in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, near the Presidential Palace and throughout the city streets erupted in cheers and applause at the news. Chants rang out through the crowd including “Egypt is Free!” and “Allah is great!”
This is the culmination of a revolution that began 17 days ago, at least in part, on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Large gatherings of youths had anticipated this yesterday when Mubarak spoke, and when he did not give up power then, the anger boiled over and large demonstrations moved from Tahrir Square to other important symbolic locations in Cairo, including the state TV station and Mubarak’s palace.
Attention will soon turn to what government takes over in Egypt. The military’s new control seems welcome by the protesters, at least according to reports from Cairo, but a permanent government must follow and worries now will turn toward the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist organization with ties to terror organizations, and the largest, most well organized political party in Egypt.