Egypt sees mixed reactions to army call for rallies

Egypt sees mixed reactions to army call for rallies
Thu Jul 25, 2013 09:46:48

The Egyptian army chief's call for Friday rallies to justify a crackdown on potential violence has brought about debates among analysts as some fear the move would stir up a "civil war".

Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, also Egypt's first vice prime minister and defense minister, made the call amid continued violent clashes across the country since the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood- backed President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

Mohamed Saed Edris, a political expert with al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said the ongoing confrontations between Morsi's supporters and opponents and militants' attacks on police and the army in the Sinai Peninsula are a "menace" to Egypt 's national security.

"I believe Sisi's call came on time as Egyptians nowadays are witnessing a phenomenon never happened before, which is fighting each other. This bodes a civil war which necessitates the army's intervention," Edris told Xinhua.

"The army realized that the Muslim Brotherhood group wants to involve the security forces and the Egyptians in 'deep violence' so as to get the intervention of the international community," he said.

Also, Abdel-Monem Saed Ali, former head of the same think tank, believes that "people's support via demonstrations is necessary to show the international community that the army's ouster of Morsi was hailed by the majority of Egyptians.

Meanwhile, Amr Rabie Hashem, another political expert with the center, saw Sisi's call would lead to "more violence."

"The call for demonstrations to empower the army and police to deal with violence came too early. Such a step should not be taken by a defense minister. It should be initiated by political forces or people themselves."

Sisi's call coincided with the first session of a national dialogue presided by the interim President Adli Mansour, and is seen by some analysts as "contradictory" to the government's effort to achieve national reconciliation.

Hashem described the call as a "gunshot" that killed the meaning of the national dialogue.


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