Interim vice president for international relations Mohamed ElBaradei has submitted his resignation following the violent dispersal of sit-ins of supporters ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
ElBaradei said in his resignation letter to interim President Adly Mansour that it had become difficult to be held responsible for decisions he disapproved of.
“I cannot be held accountable for a single drop of blood… especially when I believe such bloodshed could have been avoided,” ElBaradei said. “Mark my words, the extremist groups and those calling for violence and terrorism are the ones who will benefit from what took place today.
ElBaradei said he saw peaceful alternatives to dispersing what he described as a “social clash”.
“There were acceptable proposed solutions which could have primarily led to national consensus,” the Nobel laureate said. “From similar experiences, reconciliation would eventually arrive but after [this] we [will] pay a dear price which, I believe, was avoidable.”
ElBaradei said he accepted his position believing that the 30 June “grand uprising” would put an end to practices of groups which abuse religion and who ruled the country for a year, one which proved to be one of the worst years in Egypt’s history.
“We have, nevertheless, reached a state of utmost polarisation and dangerous division,” ElBaradei said. “Our social fabric is threatened now since violence only invites further violence.”
Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb condemned the violence which has followed the sit-in dispersals in a televised address earlier on Wednesday, saying violence cannot be used as an alternative to political solutions.
The Al-Nahda Square pro-Morsi sit-in in Giza was forcibly dispersed early Wednesday; protesters then moved to Mostafa Mahmoud Square in Mohandessin and set-up a new sit-in there amid clashes with Central Security Forces (CSF).
Security forces also moved to disperse the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in, and were met with resistance from protesters, who fought to maintain their demonstration. State TV later announced that the Rabaa sit-in had been completely cleared.
The death toll for the clashes remains unconfirmed. While Muslim Brotherhood sources are claiming at least 2000 have died, the Ministry of Health has put the latest death toll at 149.