Two years after protesters succeeded in ousting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Tahrir Square is once again flooded with a wave of revolution.
Demonstrators numbering at times in the millions packed the streets of Cairo for the third consecutive day on Tuesday, calling for the end of President Mohammed Morsi’s leadership–just one year after he became Egypt’s first democratically elected president. At the same time, Morsi’s Islamist supporters are staging their own demonstrations to defend against what they warn will become a military coup.
On Monday, Egypt’s military gave Morsi 48 hours to satisfy the public’s demands or be faced with an army-imposed “road map” out of the crisis. It was not clear from the ultimatum what exact actions the military would take. Morsi rejected the army’s call in a statement issued early Tuesday morning, saying it would move forward with its “previously plotted path” toward reconciliation.
Since anti-Morsi protests began on Sunday, six government ministers have announced their resignations, according to the New York Times. Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who stepped down in 2011 following an 18-day uprising, said Morsi should resign for the sake of the people he represents, Al Arabiya reports.
At the heart of Egyptians’ calls for government turnover is an economy fraught with instability and a tumultuous transition from military rule to democracy. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo announced that it would close its doors on Wednesday, July 3, and advised U.S. citizens to avoid areas with large gatherings.
“Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence,” read a security message from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.