Demonstration in Egypt must be done in peaceful way: Ban Ki-moon

08:14, January 31, 2011      

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon holds a news conference at 16th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 30, 2011. (Xinhua Photo/Zhao Yingquan)

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday said the demonstration in Egypt must be done in a peaceful way.

Ban made the remarks during a press conference at the sidelines of the 16th African Union (AU) summit, which kicked off here Sunday in the Ethiopian capital.

Ban said the UN is closely monitoring the situation in Egypt, and stressed that the Egyptian authorities should listen to its people's voices, their aspiration for better life, social and economic development.

"The leaders of any country, including Egypt, should first of all listen attentively, more sincerely, to the voices of people. What are their genuine aspirations are? What do they want?" Ban said. It is important for the government to ensure freedom of speech, expression and association, he said.

Meanwhile, Ban said it is equally important that "all this kinds of expression of wishes should be done in a peaceful way."

"They (the people) have the right to express their visions, in demonstrations, but all these should not lead to social instability and political instability, and should be handled in a peaceful manner," the UN chief said.

Tens of thousands of outraged people, inspired by the Tunisian "Jasmine Revolution," took to streets in Egypt in the past five days, asking Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the government to step down.

The demonstration started peacefully on Tuesday afternoon but turned into violence in the following days.

Egypt's cabinet officially resigned during a meeting on Saturday following President Mubarak's demand early in the day.

Regarding to what should be the "concrete steps" to show that the government is listening to the people's will and whether the resignation of the cabinet is enough to respect people's will, Ban said he would "leave it to Egyptian leaders," saying that the government should "take some measures" to address people's concerns.

Source: Xinhua
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