Egypt: Ban appeals for peace, non-violence ahead of planned mass demonstrations

4 October 2013

Voicing concern at serious violence today in Cairo, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the importance of peaceful protest, respect for freedom of assembly and commitment to non-violence ahead of announced demonstrations marking a national holiday in Egypt on Sunday.

“The Secretary-General continues to underscore the need for political inclusion, full respect for human rights, including of those detained in prison, and the rule of law as the basis for a peaceful, democratic transition,” a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said.

“These are principles to which the Egyptian authorities themselves have committed in the roadmap they have set forth.”

According to reports, at least four people died in clashes today as supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsy mounted protest marches demanding his reinstatement. Mr. Morsy, the country's first freely elected president, was overthrown by the Egyptian military on 3 July after mass protests against his rule.

Mr. Ban and other senior UN officials have repeatedly stressed that the authorities and the political leaders share a responsibility to end the widespread outbreak of violent protests and excessive use of force which have led to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries.

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UN political chief arrives in Cairo to 'listen to Egyptians,' evaluate assistance measures

A senior United Nations official today said he was in Egypt on a “listening tour” to better understand how the Organization can assist the crisis-torn country, and to report back to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.