In his resignation letter to interim president Adly Mansour, which was subsequently posted online, El-Baradei said: “It has become difficult for me to continue bearing responsibility for decisions that I do not agree with and whose consequences I fear. I cannot bear the responsibility for one drop of blood.”
“As you know,” it continued, “I saw that there were peaceful ways to end this clash in society, there were proposed and acceptable solutions for beginnings that would take us to national consensus.”
El-Baradei’s resignation followed the announcement that the official death toll of Wednesday’s violence in Egypt had reached 149, with hundreds more injured.
In response to the violence, the Egyptian government declared a month-long state of emergency. It also introduced a curfew in many areas, from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Foreign governments were quick to denounce the use of violence, including condemnations from the US, UK, Turkey and Qatar, among others.
In his letter, El-Baradei expressed his deep disappointment in the days events—and those that preceded them.
“I will remain faithful and loyal to this country, whose security, stability and progress I believe can only be achieved through national consensus and social peace,” he wrote.
He also said that he believed this in turn is only achievable through the establishment of a civil state and the separation of religion and politics.
Observers and analysts have commented over recent weeks on disagreements within the interim government, which failed to reach a consensus on how to approach the dissent from Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Mursi supporters.
“Within the government, there are two contradictory directions,” Rabab Al-Madi, professor of political science at the American University of Cairo told the AFP news agency.
The first camp, she explained, consisted of the interior ministry and military leaders.
“The other camp,” Mahdi continued, “represented by Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei and Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa Eldin, speak to a different constituency and have a more democratic approach.”