UN SG Condemns Attacks on Churches, Mosques, Public facilities in Egypt

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the attacks on churches, mosques, hospitals and public facilities in Egypt, saying such attacks are unacceptable.
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An Agency Correspondent in New York quoted Ban to have appealed, said in a UN statement on Sunday, to authorities to contain violence and revive the political process immediately.

‘The Secretary-General believes that preventing further loss of life should be the Egyptians’ highest priority at this dangerous moment,” the statement said.

He also urged those in the street and those in authority to ‘use maximum restraint and shift immediately to de-escalation’.

The UN chief said he is alarmed by ongoing developments in Egypt and ‘the widespread outbreak of violent protests and excessive use of force in handling them.’

Ban also underlined that time is of the essence and called on all Egyptians to resolve their differences peacefully in the interest of moving forward.

‘With such sharp polarisation in Egyptian society, both the authorities and the political leaders share the responsibility for ending the current violence,’ Ban said.

He also appealed to authorities and political leaders to ‘adopt a credible plan to contain the violence and revive the political process hijacked by violence’.

According to media reports, Egyptian security forces clashed with supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi in a central Cairo mosque, where scores of Muslim Brotherhood protesters had sought refuge from the violence that has resulted in more than 500 deaths and thousands of injuries over the past four days.

Egypt has been undergoing a democratic transition following the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak two years ago in the wake of mass protests.

Last month, renewed protests in which dozens of people were killed and wounded led the Egyptian military to depose Morsi.

The Constitution was then suspended and an interim government set up.