Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s president for almost 30 years who stepped down after a popular revolution in 2011, has died. He was 91.
Mubarak served as Egypt’s fourth president starting in 1981 until his ouster in what became known as the Arab Spring revolution.
He was jailed for years after the uprising, but was freed in 2017 after being acquitted of most charges. The acquittal stunned many Egyptians, thousands of whom poured into central Cairo to show their anger against the court.
The Arab Spring protests convulsed autocratic regimes across the Middle East.
State television said Mubarak died at a Cairo hospital where he had undergone an unspecified surgery. The report said he had health complications but offered no other details. One of his sons, Alaa, announced over the weekend the former president was in an intensive care after undergoing surgery.
His brother-in-law, General Mounir Thabet, told AFP news agency he passed away at Cairo’s Galaa military hospital.
Throughout his rule, Mubarak was a stalwart US ally, a bullwark against armed groups, and guardian of Egypt’s peace with Israel.
But to the tens of thousands of young Egyptians who rallied for 18 days of unprecedented street protests in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square and elsewhere in 2011, Mubarak was a relic, a latter-day pharaoh.
“What we’re looking at now is a statesman who was so controversial in the past three, four decades of Egypt’s history. It was under his rule that Egypt became more corrupt. It was under his rule that the infrastructure in the country reached a demise,” he said.
“For sure his passing is something that will remind people of the situation in Egypt as well as the political legacy that he left behind, which is one that has allowed for the current military regime to continue in its ruling.”
Mubarak is survived by his wife, Suzanne, and his sons, Gamal and Alaa.