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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid