Friday marks the second year anniversary of what has been called the Rabaa massacre. On August the 14th 2013, Egyptian forces opened fire on a sit-in at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo. Thousands of protestors had camped in the square to condemn the ousting of democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi. In less than 10 hours, the Egyptian military killed over 1000 unarmed protesters. This massacre has been labelled as a crime against humanity, one of the worst violations of international law.
“In Rabaa Square, Egyptian security forces carried out one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history,” says executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) Kenneth Roth.
In South Africa, the Egyptian Community of South Africa (ECOSA) plan to remember the Rabaa through various events.
“I witnessed two of my friends get shot. One was an engineer who had just graduated from university,” says ECOSA member, Aadil Abdullah.
Egyptian security forces violently cleared two protest camps in Cairo, staged in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. The larger of the two sit-ins in support of Morsi took place in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya Square.
The second sit-in was held at Nasser Square, before being attacked along with Rabaa Square by armed security forces on 14 August 2013, leading to the deaths of around one thousand protestors. Rabaa Square became a symbol of resistance as the site where, at least 1000 Egyptians, predominantly supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, were killed during the forcible dispersal of the protesters.
ECOSA has sent out an appeal to the organizers of the International Rabaa campaign, the Rabaa Story Foundation (RSF), to join the rally that will be held across the world, from Washington DC to Berlin, and London to South Africa.
In commemoration with the Rabaa Anniversary, ECOSA together with the International Coalition for Egyptians Abroad (ICEGA) has planned a few activities which will be held in Cape Town and Johannesburg on the 14th and 15th August. There will also be a march outside the Egyptian Embassy of Pretoria.
In Cape Town there will be a car rally taking place on Saturday. The following route will be taken: starting from the An-Nur Centre in Gatesville, moving onto Vanguard drive, proceeding onto the N2 and then travelling back to An-Nur via Athlone.
ECOSA together with ICEGA aims to raise awareness of the Rabaa massacre and crimes against humanity that was committed against Egyptians.
“The purpose of this International rally is to guarantee that the world never forgets about the massacre that took place,” Abdullah added.
ECOSA is appealing to the community to join this car rally and show their support in solidarity with the Egyptian people. VOC (Amina Waggie)