One Foot In, One Foot Out: Mubarak Still Clinging to Power
[The North Africa Journal] We continue to believe that the ousting of Hosni Mubarak is inevitable. His full resignation did not come today, further deepening the country's state of crsis. But he will ultimatly go. He must go for the sake of his country's stability and that of the region. But he cannot go with empty luggage. His Vizier, Omar Suleiman must also go. He is a major liability given that he has been part of the problem for so long. His latest statements about democracy in Egypt and the role of "outsiders" in instigating the rebellion are indicative of an out-dated mindset that must be retired.
Suleiman is a central figure in the tyrannical Mubarak system. In a May 2007 US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, an American memo says "Egyptian intelligence chief and Mubarak consigliere, in past years Soliman was often cited as likely to be named to the long-vacant vice-presidential post. In the past two years, Soliman has stepped out of the shadows, and allowed himself to be photographed, and his meetings with foreign leaders reported. Many of our contacts believe that Soliman, because of his military background, would at least have to figure in any succession scenario."
Suleiman may end up staying for a little while, but he is not a credible personality. He is too close to Mubarak, who appointed him Vice President in late January 2011 and has been adamant that Mubarak will not go as demanded by the Egyptian people.
Omar Suleiman has too many enemies in Egypt to manage without a substantial breakdown in governance. Among his most ardent enemies are the Islamists and conservatives, a subset of the Egyptian population that faced substantial crackdown on the hands of Suleiman’s security services, the Mukhabarats. But in his attempts to do damage control in the Egyptian uprising he alienated the middle class and the young professionals who have nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood movement. In several interviews he insisted that the Egyptian people were not mature enough to adopt democracy. To further demean his people, he stated that the Egyptian youth was manipulated from abroad. As if the Egyptians were not capable to create their own revolution. Now a consensus has emerged whereby both the conservatives and liberals on the same page. Suleiman must go.
While the man is said to be a favorite of “Egyptian, Israeli and US diplomats and politicians,” according to Al Jazeera, Suleiman is not the solution for Egypt. The old chapter must be closed. In his role to try to save the Mubarak regime, Suleiman is alleged to have been trying to divide the opposition when he convened a meeting that also included representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood. Suleiman has been part of a state police that has been scheming and plotting to undermine the legitimate democratic demands of their people. The satellite news channel Al-Arabiya, a pro-Saudi service competing with Al-Jazeera published recently an account that former Interior Minister, Habib Al-Adly was behind the bombing of the Christian Coptic church in Alexandria on December 31, 2010 leading to 24 deaths. According to a British diplomatic sources, as reported by Al Arabiya, Habib Al-Adly formed some 6 years ago a secret unit comprised of 22 officers linked to all sorts of thugs, from drug traffickers and radical Islamists, to private security companies. Their goal was to launch acts of sabotage in case the Mubarak regime were to be threatened. The bombing of the Alexandria church was essentially meant to create divisions between Christians and Muslims so as to get the regime position itself as the guarantor of stability. This is what the Mubarak-Suleiman security apparatus looks like. Not what Egypt wants.