Mubarak swears in new cabinet

Egypt's president appoints new cabinet in an attempt to quell ongoing mass street protests against his rule.

    Tens of thousands of people are continuing to protest on the streets of Egypt[ AFP]

    Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president, has sworn in a new cabinet in a bid to quell days of mass uprising against him and the government.

    Three former senior officers are included in the line-up, suggesting a strong security presence in the new government.

    Mahmoud Wagdi, a retired police general, was appointed the country's new interior minister, replacing Habib el-Adli, who was criticised for brutality inflicted on protesters.

    Wagdi was previously head of Cairo criminal investigations department and also a former head of prisons.

    Protesters had demanded Habib al-Adli, the former interior minister, be sacked after police used force on protesters including beatings, tear gas and firing rubber bullets.

    Ahmed Abul Gheit, the foreign minister, retained his job, as did General Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the defence minister, state television reported.

    A deputy prime minister, finance minister and trade minister, were also appointed in the ceremony on Monday.

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    Our correspondent in Cairo said: "With this new incoming cabinet he [Mubarak] may be saying that he wants this dealt with from a security perspective".

    Despite the new appointments and pledges to institute political and economic reforms tens of thousands of people are continuing to protest on the streets of Egypt.

    "We will accept no change other than Mubarak's departure," an anonymous protester was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.

    Another said: "We want a complete change of government, with a civilian authority."

    Protest organisers are calling for a "march of one million" people in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, on Tuesday in an attempt to overthrow Mubarak's rule.

    The so-called April 6 Movement said it plans to have more than a million people on the streets of the capital Cairo, as anti-government sentiment reaches a fever pitch.

    Several hundred demonstrators remained camped out in Tahrir Square in central Cairo overnight, defying a curfew that has been extended by the army.

    Thousands were back on the square by mid-day on Monday, chanting anti-government slogans. This as heavy military presence was seen in many parts of the capital.

    One of Al Jazeera's correspondents said the military's attempts to block access to the square on Monday by closing roads was not working as more people were arriving in a steady stream.

    "Protesters say they'll stay in this square for as long as Mubarak stays in power," she said.

    Protesters seem unfazed by Mubarak's pledge to institute economic and political reforms. Our correspondent said people feel that such pledges "are too little, too late".

    Meanwhile, there are reports of panic buying in the shops of Cairo.

    "I walked into a supermarket and saw complete mayhem," one of our correspondents said.

    "People are stocking up on supplies as much as they can. There are very few rations available in the stores. They are running out of basic supplies, like eggs, cheese and meat. Deliveries have not been coming for days."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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