Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


One year after Morsi, Egypt roiled by unrest

01 July 2014, 07:31

Cairo - A year after he deposed Egypt's first freely elected president only to take his place, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi presides over a country roiled by militancy and ever-shrinking liberties, critics say.

On 3 July last year, the army, then led by Sisi, removed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi from office after millions took to the streets demanding his resignation.

Sisi went on to win May's presidential election, partly thanks to his image as a strongman who can restore stability to a country in tumult since an uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

But the lead-up to the anniversary suggests the divisive ouster of Morsi still looms large over Sisi, who won the election with 97 percent of the vote against a weak leftist candidate.

On Monday, two policemen were killed defusing bombs outside Sisi's palace, with the president pledging "retribution".

A few days before, a court prolonged the detention of 24 secular activists jailed for violating a ban on all but police-sanctioned protests.

Some of these activists had supported Sisi when he ousted Morsi, but a crackdown on Islamists has since extended to other dissidents.

Morsi's overthrow unleashed the bloodiest period in Egypt's modern history as a crackdown killed more than 1 400 of his supporters, jailed thousands including top Brotherhood leaders and sentenced about 200 to death.

Militant attacks have since killed about 500 policemen and soldiers, says the government.

"It's really a dark time... We are seeing citizen killing citizen, brother killing brother, families being torn apart. It is not a civil war, but it is a civil conflict," said Shadi Hamid, fellow at the Brooking Institution's Saban Centre.

"Egypt is very, very divided."

Brotherhood 'spoiler'

The Brotherhood is facing its most daunting challenge since its inception in 1928, but the movement that swept all elections between the fall of Mubarak and Morsi is far from over, experts say.

"Certainly Egypt has moved to a new chapter, but it's unrealistic to think that the authorities have eliminated an 86-year-old organisation that is the largest political party in the country," said Yezid Sayigh of the Carnegie Middle East Center.

The movement was blacklisted as a terrorist group in December after being blamed for a deadly bombing north of Cairo, a charge the Islamists denied.

With no signs of reconciliation shown by Sisi, the Brotherhood has the incentive to "play spoiler," said Hamid.

The Brotherhood insists it eschewed violence decades ago, but there are signs some of its members have begun targeting the police.

Hamid, author of "Temptations of Power", a book on Islamist movements, said there was a "growing openness [among supporters of the Brotherhood] in accepting certain low level acts against security personnel which is seen as defensive violence".

The Cairo-based militant group Ajnad Misr - which the authorities claim to have defeated - said it planted the bombs that killed two police officers on Monday.

"I pledge before God and their families, the state will get just and speedy retribution," Sisi said, only hours after the palace blasts.

'Open oppression'

Activists accuse the new authorities of wanting to counter the 2011 uprising that saw millions rally against Mubarak demanding "bread, freedom and social justice".

"Today's rule is worse than under Mubarak and Morsi put together," said Amr Imam, a defence lawyer for anti-Mubarak activists being tried for violating the protest law.

"The symbols of Mubarak's regime are all out, the officers who killed protesters are free, while the revolutionaries who took part in the 25 January revolution are in jail."

Egypt's political turmoil set off since Mubarak's ouster was aggravated in November when the new authorities passed a law that prohibits unauthorised demonstrations.

Anti-Mubarak activists have been jailed for breaching the law, which Sisi supporter Chehab Waguih, spokesman for the liberal Free Egyptian party, said was adopted to "ensure stability and not restore a despotic regime".

Sisi has said his priority is to return Egypt to stability and help recover the shattered economy rather than encourage democratic reforms.

Imam said: "Today, there is open oppression taking place under the guise of fighting terrorism and protecting Egyptian identity.

"Yes, under Mubarak you had corruption... but at least people were not being killed on the streets with everybody treating it as something normal."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...