A long nightmarish day of violence in Egypt could breed more violence

The move by the security forces to use force to end pro-Morsi demonstrations could backfire, leading to renewed violence. Photo: AP

CAIRO, August 14, 2013 — On Wednesday August 14, 2013-08-14 Egypt security forces dispersed the two major sits-in camps of deposed President Morsi’s supporters in north Cairo at Rabaa as well as El- Nahda in Giza. According to the Ministry of Health, 149 civilian were killed and more than 1042 were injured.

The police crackdown ignited a wave of violent clashes across the country. Supporters of Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood and the hard-line Jihadis attacked and burned down police stations, killing officers and soldiers and burning vans and cars. The violence escalated and spread even more to different governorates including Alexandria and Upper Egypt, where seven churches were attacked. At least three churches were burned to the ground.

In a long nightmarish day, some militants who fled from the crackdown at Giza found refuge either in the main campus of the Cairo University or in the famous Giza Zoo were they were shooting at the police forces and throwing Molotov cocktails.

At noon, the government a state of emergency, which included a 7pm to 6am curfew in at least ten  governorates and will last for one month to allow security forces to comb and hunt down dangerous militants.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mohamed El Baradei the interim government vice President, resigned due to the violent crackdown on Pro- Morsi sit-in camps.

Prime Minister Hazem El Beblawi and General Mohamed Ibrahim, the minister of the interior, explained that the crackdown was inevitable and that the demonstrators at Rabaa and Nahda were not peaceful. General Ibrahim announced that the government will not allow any future sit-ins in the squares.

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He added his disappointment that the security forces did not arrest the Muslim Brotherhood leaders yet.

During the last six weeks, protesters rebuffed attempts at dialogue, leading the government to declare them fruitless, leading government officials to debate the best approach to end the protests. Some officials like Mohamed El Baradei rejected the idea of a forceful crack down since it would damage the efforts of the new government to present itself as legitimate, while hardliners argued for a full military response. The Army reportedly feared a lesser response would make them lose authority over the Muslim Brotherhood.

Minister of Foreign affairs Nabil Fahmy said that every effort was being made to resolve the situation through dialogue in order to end the protests peacefully.

In fact, the magnified political crisis brought by the removal of the nation first freely elected president is now taking different dimensions. Lack of reconciliation resulted in violence as different Islamist supporters of Morsi insist on his return to office. Some political analysts are concerned that the clashes between police forces and brotherhood is not an end or a solution but rather the beginning of a new wave of violence  

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Anwaar Abdalla

Anwaar Abadallah Khalik Ibrahim has her Ph.D. from Ain Shams University (1999, first degree honour) and currently lectures on Civilization and Cultural Affairs for Helwan University.  Dr. Abdalla Kahlik Ibrahim also works as an official coordinator for the cultural exchange program between Helwan Uni and TSU in the USA entitled “Cultural Immersion 2011-2014.”

Additionally, Ms. Abdallah is a member of the Egyptian and Arab women’s writer’s union and the Cairo Women Association.  She is also the translator of several books published by the Ministry of Culture including Shadows on the Grass, Impossible Peace and The Secret Rapture. Dr. Ibrahim is also an accomplished author and essayist in both Arabic and English publications. 


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