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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Legacy Of The Arab Spring: Violent Protests In Cairo Leave 10 People Dead

Chris Carrington

After the ransacking of the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters yesterday the government has been slow to respond. The Egyptian Army has told the government they have 48 hours to decide what to do or they will take control…though they have stressed it will not be a military coup.

Those opposing the government feel strongly that the army should stand with them and are hoping that this causes Morsi and his party to stand down. It’s not clear who would replace the retiring government.

President Morsi has criticised military leaders for taking what he regards as a stance against the government and says that no consultation took place before the ultimatum was issued.

In an announcement read out on Egyptian TV, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, defence minister and head of the armed forces, described the protests as an “unprecedented” expression of the popular will. 
If the people’s demands were not met, he said, the military would have to take responsibility for a plan for the future. 
But while he said the army would not get involved in politics or government, his words were seen by many as a coup in the making. 
Noisy celebrations erupted in Cairo as protesters interpreted the army’s ultimatum as spelling the end of Mr Morsi’s rule. 
Tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters of Tamarod (Rebel) – the opposition movement behind the protests – partied in Cairo’s Tahrir Square late into the night. 
Meanwhile senior Brotherhood figure Muhammad al-Biltaji urged pro-Morsi supporters to “call their families in all Egyptian governorates and villages to be prepared to take to the streets and fill squares” to support their president.”Any coup of any sort will only pass over our dead bodies,” he said to a roar from thousands gathered outside the Rab’ah al-Adawiyah mosque in Cairo’s Nasr district. (source)
What looks certain is that the protests are not over. What happens if Morsi does nothing and the army does take over is anyone's guess. It seems unlikely that whatever happens will be peaceful. Tensions are running high, the country is a tinderbox and it won’t take much of a spark to ignite it.

Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple, where this article first appeared. Wake the flock up!

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