Indonesia Speaks Out Against Egypt Bloodshed
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday spoke out against a crackdown against Islamists in Egypt by the country’s military, urging conflicting sides to compromise and calling on the international community to take measures to put an end to the bloodshed.
Yudhoyono said he understood that the situation in Egypt was “extremely complex and difficult, with not many options.”
“[But] I hope that all sides in Egypt, whether they be the government, military, or Muslim Brotherhood, can exercise the utmost self-restraint and avoid further bloodshed,” the president said in Jakarta. “In my view, the use of force, or worse, excessive military arms is contradictory to the democratic values and human rights.”
Yudhoyono urged the conflicting sides to compromise and find a “win-win solution” to the problem. “What is most critical, however, is to ensure the cessation of violence and the avoidance of more casualties.”
Egypt could learn from a similar situation in Indonesia more than a decade ago, the president added.
“Indonesia also went through similar processes of reforms and political transformation 15 years ago. With a spirit of collaboration and cooperation between the civilian and the military, Indonesia was able to safely navigate this challenging process.”
Yudhoyono ended his speech with a call to the UN to instigate dialogue and reconciliation between conflicting parties in Egypt, and to the international community to support the measures.
“Indonesia will take an active role, along with other members of the international community, to prevent the situation in Egypt from taking a worse turn of events,” the president pledged.
Separately, House of Representatives speaker Marzuki Alie criticized the military crackdown on members of the Islamist group Muslim Brotherhood, following the toppling of Brotherhood-backed president Mohammed Morsi by the military early last month.
“We’re wondering why the democratization in Egypt has now reversed, with [the emergence] of a tyrant regime slaughtering its people,” Marzuki said in Jakarta. “We don’t know yet exactly why the military chose to take power using a non-democratic way. If Morsi did violate their law, surely there is a constitutional path that they could have taken.”
Marzuki further reminded the Egypt military to respect the remains of dead victims in the military crackdown targeting Brotherhood members by ensuring Islamic burials for them. “Bury them well, according to the religion,” he said.
Indonesians showed their support for victims of bloodshed in Egypt on Thursday as an Egypt health ministry official put the official death toll of Wednesday’s security crackdown at 525, most of whom were Brotherhood supporters.
Several Islamic groups in Indonesia staged small protests in Jakarta, Bandung and other cities, while #PrayforEgypt and #SaveEgypt tags were frequently posted to social media sites.