Tag Archives: Egyptian Army

Violent Clashes Between Army And Pro-Morsi Protesters

Posted on in Egypt title_rule

8 July, 2013 – An investigation has begun into deadly clash in Cairo earlier today which left 42 civilians and one soldier dead, and 322 civilians and 40 soldiers injured. The clashes occurred between the Egyptian Army and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi at the Republican Guard headquarters. Pro-Morsi supporters have been staging planned protests and sit-ins around the country since Friday in hopes of returning the ousted president to power.

Conflicting reports have emerged regarding how the clashes started. The Egyptian army has released an official statement claiming that an armed terrorist group attempted to break into the headquarters of the Republican Guard early on Monday and attacked security forces.  However, the Muslim Brotherhood has released a contradictory statement claiming that peaceful protesters were performing the Fajjr (dawn prayers) when the army fired tear gas and gunshots at them, “without any consideration for the sanctity of prayers or life.” The Brotherhood goes on to state that women and children sought shelter in a nearby mosque, which was besieged by security forces who then “arrested anyone who came out of it.”The army states that it arrested 200 people who had “large quantities of firearms, ammunition and Molotov cocktails.”

The  pro-Morsi umbrella group, the National Alliance for Supporting Legitimacy, is continuing sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City, and other groups are protesting in several other locations, including Nahdet Misr Square in Giza.

Following today’s events, Strong Egypt Party leader Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, a critic of former President Morsi, called on interim president Adly Mansour to step down. The Salafist Nour Party, which had initially backed the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, announced that it will withdraw from the political process in response to the incident. The party released a statement saying, “We wanted to avoid bloodshed, but now blood has been spilled. So now we want to announce that we will end all negotiations with the new authorities.”

Constitution Party leader, Mohamed El Baradei, has called for an independent investigation into clashes. El Baradei was set to be appointed as interim Prime Minister for Egypt but the appointment has been delayed after heavy backlash from Morsi supporters.

Also on Monday, two army soldiers fled from kidnappers, accusing pro-Morsi supporters of capturing them in Cairo’s Ain Shams district. The army says a group of armed Morsi supporters kidnapped soldiers Samir Abdallah and Azzam Hazem. They forced the soldiers to chant pro-Morsi slogans and insults to the army, and beat them. The soldiers say the incident was filmed.

The Islamic month of Ramadan begins today. Generally, this month sees quiet mornings, with people engaging in social activities in the evening after breaking fast. It is likely that evening activities will continue to center around political differences, which may result late night/early morning clashes centered around areas near mosques.

Tagged as: , , , , ,

Egypt Update: President Morsi Overthrown, Interim President Named

Posted on in Egypt title_rule

After four days of protest, beginning on June 30, the one year anniversary of the Egyptian President’s election, Mohamed Morsi has been removed from office.

On Monday, the Egyptian Army issued a 48 hour ultimatum, urging Morsi to work with members of other parties to create a roadmap to meet the desires of the masses. As the 24 hour mark passed, Morsi issued a televised and passionate statement that he would not leave, and would fight for the legitimacy of his democratically elected office. He also asked the military to repeal the 48 hour ultimatum, to no avail.

As the deadline passed, military forces were deployed to areas containing high concentrations of Pro- and Anti-Morsi protesters. Head of the Egyptian Army, General Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, appeared in a televised statement, flanked by Muslim, Coptic Christian, political and military leaders. Al-Sisi announced that the chief justice of constitutional court, Adli Mansour, would take the powers of the presidency.

The announcement effectively removed former President Mohammed Morsi from power.

In addition to the removal of Morsi, General Al-Sisi has announced a suspension of the highly contested constitution, and called for early elections, which will require the court to create a draft law for the forthcoming process. Al-Sisi also called upon the court to address a draft law for ethics which would include freedom of expression and media, regardless of political party. Finally, Al-Sisi urged peaceful demonstrations and avoidance of violence.

Protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square gave out a huge cheer in response to the speech. Fireworks erupted in Anti-Morsi camps throughout Cairo, as Army helicopters circled Tahrir Square, throwing Egyptian flags to the crowd. The protests drew over 33 million people, the largest in world history.

Pro-Morsi gatherers have given an oath to uphold democracy and continue to support Morsi. Following the speech, the Muslim Brotherhood television station went off the air, and a post on Morsi’s Facebook page denounced the army move as a military coup. Morsi’s whereabouts are currently unknown. Egypt’s Prime Minister, Hisham Qandil, was sentenced to one year in prison for failing to uphold a court order to reinstate employees at Tanta Flax and Oil Company and for annulling the company’s sale to a Saudi businessman.

Following General Al-Sisi’s address, Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Church, and Mohammed ElBaradei, a key leader of the opposition parties, made short statements. ElBaradei called the army’s roadmap a fresh start to the January 2011 revolution.

In the coming days, arguments will surround whether the Army’s action constituted a coup d’etat. The Army claims to have acted on the will of the people, particularly the 22 million signatures on the “Tamarod” petition, which demanded Morsi’s removal. The military will not take over political responsibility, rather have handed it over to the high courts. However, because it is a military action, the title of “coup d’etat” could strain relations with international partners, such as America, which will not provide economic assistance to nations where power is transitioned through military force.

Adli Mansour will be sworn in as the interim president on Thursday.

Tagged as: , , ,