Seized by the past week's explosive unrest, the situation in Egypt grows increasingly complicated. Here are some answers to questions about what's going on -- from the nature of the demonstrations to the underlying motivations of the parties involved.
What are the demands of the Egyptian protesters?
- The primary goal of the thousands of angry demonstrators is the termination of President Mubarak’s three decades of authoritarian rule. (CNN)
- Protesters also want a more equitable Egypt -- a country that ranks 137 worldwide for per capita income -- after years of a regime that “forestalled” economic reforms. (Wall Street Journal)
What do the protests look like?
- Protests fluctuated in terms of scope and violence over the past week, while images of conflict between demonstrators and both riot police and military -- not to mention an AP video of a protester shot -- have stoked intense international interest. (The Guardian)
- Reports of violence only emboldened protesters, as thousands more peaceful demonstrators have poured into the streets in the past few days. (NPR)
- To expedite the end goal of Mubarak’s resignation, opposition groups are calling for general strike by all Egyptians. (CBC)
What has the United States’ response to the protests been like?
- The Obama administration approached the situation with caution, torn between its interest in a democratic Egypt and its strategic relationship with the Egyptian government. (PBS, Atlantic Sentinel)
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly stated the Mubarak government needs to institute reforms, while asking all Egyptians to refrain from violence. (Bloomberg)
- The State Department warned any Americans in Egypt or planning to travel there that the country isn’t safe and urging immediate evacuation. (Wall Street Journal)
- The administration is reportedly preparing itself for a post-Mubarak Egypt quietly. (LA Times)