News / Middle East

As New Protests Loom, Egypt Military Seeks to Consolidate Role

Members of Egypt's Republican Guard Force are seen standing atop a tank near the presidential palace in Cairo (file photo).Members of Egypt's Republican Guard Force are seen standing atop a tank near the presidential palace in Cairo (file photo).
x
Members of Egypt's Republican Guard Force are seen standing atop a tank near the presidential palace in Cairo (file photo).
Members of Egypt's Republican Guard Force are seen standing atop a tank near the presidential palace in Cairo (file photo).
Elizabeth Arrott
Egypt faces another round of rallies Friday, as the military calls on citizens to show support for their maintaining control. 
 
Egypt has rarely been without demonstrations in recent weeks, but Friday's is the first openly called for by the military.
 
"They come out to give me the mandate and order that I confront violence and potential terrorism," said armed forces chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi. 
 
His warning offered little compromise with supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, who vow to stay on the streets until their leader is reinstated.
 
Their Muslim Brotherhood-led rallies have been flash points of violence. The army blames the protesters, but many contest those charges. 
 
Human rights analyst Priyanka Motaparthy said, "Consistently the police have attacked and broken up Brotherhood demonstrations and some have often done so from the position of opposition demonstrators.  What this means is that the state is seen to be taking a side in this political battle."
 
The violence, she said, reinforces the Islamists' sense that politics in Egypt has become a zero-sum game.
 
"The Muslim Brotherhood have a history of being detained and tortured in police detention. They have a history of being targeted for their political activities and not being able to participate in political life. They really see this as an existential crisis," she said. 
 
Brotherhood officials say they will not counter violence with violence.  But they warn that more extreme elements could take up arms to re-assert Islamist-dominated rule, raising the specter of civil conflict seen elsewhere in the region. 
 
Yet some political analysts say the Islamists' options are limited. 
 
Publisher Hisham Kassem said, "This is a country that lives on six percent of its land.  It has a real army.  The possibility for a civil war or guerrilla warfare extended is quite limited. This is not the extensive Algeria, where control is practically impossible. No. Six percent of the land. "
 
Kassem notes the military has already sent the message of no tolerance for perceived attacks, as during a protest outside Republican Guard headquarters earlier this month. Friday's pro-military rally, he noted, is simply confirmation, as Egypt still struggles with the idea of political compromise.

  • Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi attend Friday prayer at Nasr City, where protesters have installed their camp and hold daily rallies in Cairo, July 26, 2013.
  • Opponents of Mohamed Morsi during a protest at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 26, 2013.
  • An Egyptian military helicopter near the Cairo tower, Friday, July 26, 2013.
  • A man flashes victory signs at a military helicopter near the presidential palace in Cairo, July 26, 2013.
  • Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi atop a bridge during a rally around Rabaa Adawiya Square, Cairo July 26, 2013.
  • Supporters of Morsi during a demonstration outside the Egyptian embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 26, 2013.
  • A member of the Muslim Brotherhood at a rally around Rabaa Adawiya square, Cairo, July 26, 2013.
  • A military helicopter among clouds of smoke in Cairo, July 26, 2013.
  • In this image taken from Egypt State TV, Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi delivers a speech in Cairo, July 24, 2013.
  • Sand barriers set up by protesters near Cairo University in Giza, Egypt, July 23, 2013.
  • Firefighters extinguish a scooter that was set on fire during clashes between opponents and supporters of ousted President Morsi in Cairo, July 22, 2013.
  • Firefighters extinguish a scooter that was set on fire during clashes between opponents and supporters of ousted President Morsi in Cairo, July 22, 2013.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: keeq48 from: pakistan
July 26, 2013 4:26 AM
Unfortunately in Egypt its either military rule or mullah rule,no third option is available.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs