Five years ago, on 25 January 2011, anti-government protests began across Egypt, publicised on social media. These protests were inspired by the dawn of the "Arab Spring" in Tunisia, where anti-government protesters succeeded in bringing down the government just over a week earlier.

The demonstrations in Cairo centred on the landmark Tahrir Square. Thousands of demonstrators voiced their anger, complaining of poverty and repression in a "Day of Wrath" and, in unprecedented scenes, police fought with thousands of Egyptians who defied a government ban to protest against then president Hosni Mubarak. The protests intensified, with more than a million people around Egypt taking to the streets, calling for an end to Mubarak's 30-year rule.

On 10 February, the 17th day of protests, Mubarak announced that a national dialogue was under way to transfer power to the vice-president, but he refused to leave office immediately, as demanded by protesters. However, a day later, Mubarak was forced to step down and a military council was formed to run the country's affairs. Scenes of mass jubilation were seen across the country with hundreds of thousands packed into Tahrir Square to celebrate the dawn of what they believed would be a new Egypt.

Cairo January 25 2011
25 January 2011: Demonstrators knell in front of Egyptian police in a protest inspired by the uprising in Tunisia which led to the ousting of Zine El Abidine Ben AliMohammed Abed/AFP
Cairo January 25 2011
25 January 2011: Demonstrators clash with Egyptian police in Cairo during a protest to demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak and calling for reformsMohammed Abed/AFP
Cairo January 25 2011
25 January 2011: Tear gas is fired by Egyptian police into crowds of demonstrators gathering in Tahrir Square in CairoMohammed Abed/AFP
Cairo January 25 2011
26 January 2011: Riot police keep watch as they hold shields during clashes with protesters in CairoGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
26 January 2011: Riot police clash with protesters in Cairo as thousands of Egyptians defied a ban on protests by returning to Egypt's streets and calling for President Hosni Mubarak to leave officeGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
27 January 12011: A woman shouts as she demonstrates outside the Lawyers' Syndicate in Cairo, demanding the resignation of 82-year-old President Hosni Mubarak, who had held on to power for more than three decades ever since the assassination of his predecessor Anwar SadatMohammed Abed/AFP
Cairo January 25 2011
28 January 2011: A protester kisses a police officer during a demonstration in CairoAmr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
28 January 2011: An Egyptian police officer fires tear gas at demonstrators demanding the resignation of President Hosni MubarakKhaled Desouki/AFP
Cairo January 25 2011
28 January 2011: A man tries to protect himself with an Egyptian flag as police fire water cannons at protesters in CairoYannis Behrakis/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
28 January 2011: An injured Egyptian riot policeman is given first aid by protesters during clashes in CairoYannis Behrakis/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
28 January 2011: A protester displays a tear gas canister after President Hosni Mubarak sent troops and armoured cars onto the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities in an attempt to quell street fighting and mass protests demanding an end to his 30-year ruleYannis Behrakis/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
28 January 2011: A protester stands in front of a burning barricade as police and demonstrators fought running battles on the streets of Cairo in a fourth day of protestsGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
28 January 2011: Egyptian Army tanks roll into Tahrir Square as Mubarak's government attempts to quell demonstrationsPeter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Cairo January 25 2011
28 January 2011: A protester watches an Egyptian Army armoured vehicle burn in Cairo after President Hosni Mubarak ordered troops into Egyptian cities in an attempt to quell growing mass protests demanding an end to his 30-year ruleGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
28 January 2011: Egyptians gather around the burning headquarters of the ruling National Democratic party (NDP) in CairoKhaled Desouki/AFP
Cairo January 25 2011
29 January 2011: The headquarters of the ruling National Democratic (NLD) party burns after it was set ablaze by protesters in CairoYannis Behrakis/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
29 January 2011: A man injured in clashes with police stands in front of an Egyptian Army vehicle in Cairo after Egypt's president gave the first indication he was preparing for an eventual handover of power by naming a vice-president for the first time in 30 yearsGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
29 January 2011: Protesters carry a man who was injured during clashes with riot police near Tahrir SquarePeter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Cairo January 25 2011
30 January 2011: An anti-government protester cries during prayers at sunset in Tahrir SquareChris Hondros/Getty Images
Cairo January 25 2011
30 January 2011: An Egyptian army soldier prays with anti-government demonstrators at Tahrir square on the sixth day of mass protests calling for the resignation of President Hosni MubarakMarco Longari/AFP
Cairo January 25 2011
30 January 2011: Protesters in Cairo hold a banner featuring a cartoon calling for Hosni Mubarak to step downAsmaa Waguih/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
31 January 2011: A protester holds a placard depicting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as Adolf Hitler in Cairo's Tahrir SquareYannis Behrakis/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
1 February 2011: A poster placed on a lamp post calls for the return of the internet after it was shut down by the governmentPeter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Cairo January 25 2011
3 February 2011: An opposition demonstrator using a bucket as a protective helmet throws a rock during clashes with pro-Mubarak supporters near Tahrir SquareGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
3 February 2011: A woman providing water water to fellow opposition supporters takes shelter during clashes with pro-Mubarak demonstrators near Tahrir SquareGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
Egypt 25 January 2011
4 February 2011: An exhausted young anti-government protester sleeps on the edge of Tahrir SquareChris Hondros/Getty Images
Cairo January 25 2011
4 February 2011: Anti-government protestors break paving stones for the defence of Tahrir Square in front of a shop spray painted with the word 'Facebook'Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Cairo January 25 2011
4 February 2011: A shop in Tahrir Square is spray-painted with the word 'Twitter' after the government shut off internet accessPeter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Cairo January 25 2011
5 February 2011: An anti-government demonstrator prays with a makeshift protective cover over his head at Tahrir SquareAmr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
6 February 2011: Anti-government protesters spell out their feelings towards Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak with stones left over from the rioting at Tahrir SquareDylan Martinez/Reuters
Egypt 25 January 2011
6 February 2011: Food is offered to a wounded anti-government protester who spent the night manning makeshift barriers protecting the anti-government movement in Tahrir SquareChris Hondros/Getty Images
Cairo January 25 2011
9 February 2011: An opposition supporter carries a placard in Tahrir Square amid the crowd calling for Mubarak to quitYannis Behrakis/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
10 February 2011: Anti-government bloggers work on their laptops from Cairo's Tahrir square on the 17th day of consecutive protests calling for the resignation of President Hosni MubarakPatrick Baz/AFP
Cairo January 25 2011
10 February 2011: Opposition supporters salute in Tahrir Square as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was on the verge of capitulating to protesters' demands to give up powerGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
Egypt 25 January 2011
10 February 2011: Anti-government protesters raise their shoes after a speech by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek saying that he had given some powers to his vice president but would not resign or leave the countryChris Hondros/Getty Images
Cairo January 25 2011
11 February 2011: Soldiers sitting on armoured vehicles are surrounded by celebrating anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square after the announcement of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignationAsmaa Waguih.Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
11 February 2011: Fireworks explode over Cairo's Tahrir Square as anti-government protesters celebrate the resignation of President Hosni MubarakMarco Longari/AFP
Cairo January 25 2011
11 February 2011: A woman cries in Tahrir Square after it was announced that President Hosni Mubarak was stepping downChris Hondros/Getty Images
Cairo January 25 2011
18 February 2011: A girl attends Friday prayers in front of an army tank in Tahrir Square in Cairo a week after Mubarak resignedSuhaib Salem/Reuters
Cairo January 25 2011
18 February 2011: A woman waves an Egyptian flag on a balcony overlooking Cairo's Tahrir Square as hundreds of thousands of people gather to celebrate the revolt that forced president Hosni Mubarak to step downMohammed Abed/AFP

The Arab Spring saw Egypt's Mubarak, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh all deposed. But the Tunisian transition to democracy has been a difficult model to follow and five years after the first protests, much of the region is still beset by conflict, instability and repression.

Five years on, Egypt has replaced its toppled dictator with a military one who rules with an iron fist and whose judges sentenced elected Muslim Brotherhood leaders to life in prison as part of a crackdown on the opposition.

As the fifth anniversary of the 25 January protests that ended Mubarak's 30-year rule approaches, security forces have arrested a number of activists accused of planning demonstrations. The toughest security crackdown in Egypt's history is a clear sign that authorities are worried. Officials, including President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, have voiced concern over attempts to mark the anniversary with new protests. With thousands of government opponents behind bars, the likelihood of massive protests is slim. However, analysts and activists say, the crackdown reveals an insecurity that has grown since general-turned-president Sisi ousted the Muslim Brotherhood from power two years ago.