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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Egypt: Rival protests of Morsy supporters and opponents have been held in Cairo and nationwide

Supporters of Mohamed Morsy
Egypt’s supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Morsy and also his opponents and the oppositional forces as well both declared their intentions to hold the rallies in Cairo and in other Egyptian cities nationwide.

Egypt’s Tamaroud (Rebel) campaign organizers along with the representatives of several oppositional and liberal political groups and parties have called for their supporters to gather in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and in front of Presidential Palace located in Heliopolis to mark the 30th anniversary of 10th  of Ramadan War with Israel and to defend the achievements of 30th June revolution 2013 which resulted in ouster of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsy by the Armed Forces.

The leaders and organizers have urged their followers and supporters to arrive in Tahrir Square and to the Presidential palace earlier, on Thursday, to prevent Muslim Brotherhood’s protesters to hold their marches there, so a few hundreds of oppositional protesters have gathered in early hours of Friday on Tahrir and in front of the Presidential Palace. More people arrived after the sunset as Muslims have their breakfast this time during Ramadan.

Several significant political groups and parties have participated in the Friday marches including April 6th Youth movement, National Salvation Front, Rebel and others.

The demonstrators have been calling for the achievement of the goals of the January 25 and June 30 revolutions and condemned the violence sparked during the clashes between Morsy supporters and police and some local residents in Cairo’s Downtown on Monday, 15 July, when the Islamist protesters have moved to the 6th October Bridge and tried the block it.

Tahrir Square and Morsy opponents
The protesters at Tahrir Square have also critisized the terrorist methods of their rivals condemning the recent violent and deadly attacks by militants against soldiers and policemen in Sinai which have already took lives of the soldiers.

Meanwhile the supporters of Egypt’s deposed President Mohamed Morsy and of Muslim Brotherhood have staged the massive rallies in Cairo and in other Egyptian governorates as well following the calls of their leaders to continue the demonstrations and the sit-in until Mohamed Morsy will be reinstated as Egypt’s legitimate President and Army will take back its recent decisions including the freezing of the Constitution and the arrests of several Islamist leaders. They called for justice and accused media of bias and accusing them of supporting military which they also accused of attacking the peaceful demonstrators in Nasr City in front of Republican Guard headquarters, which occurred last Monday and took the lives of more than 50 people and injured hundreds.

Muslim Brotherhood’s and Morsy’s supporters have gathered in Cairo’s nasr City in front of Rabaa Al-Adaweya Mosque, where the sit-in continues despite the recent claims and protests of the local residents. The massive protests have been also held in Giza, in front of Cairo University.

The protesters have been holding the banners and posters with the Morsy’s portraits and slogans calling for democracy to be restored in Egypt. Their key demand is reinstatement of Morsy as Egypt’s President. Islamist forces also rejected the recently formed and sworn in interim Cabined of Minsiters headed by Hazem El-Beblawy and refuse to negotiate with them, with army and also with oppositions until their demands will be fulfilled.

Major Islamist rallies calling for the reinstatement of Morsy and protesting against the military have been also held in other Egyptian cities as well including Alexandria, Sharqiya, Gharbiya, Fayoum, Upper Egypt and others.

Protests in Cairo
In Cairo the supporters of Morsy tried to reach the Republican Guard headquarters where the violent clashes have erupted last Monday and where Islamist supporters believe Mohamed Morsy is being held in custody. But the area is secured by military and additional forces have been deployed in the area. Several military helicopters have been patrolling the air above the locations of the Islamist rallies, according to the reports.

It’s worth mentioning here that Egypt’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Head of Armed Forces Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi has made a statement on the eve of the4 planned rival demonstrations urging the participants to remain peaceful and to avoid any violence and attempts to attack some state or security objects as well. He also added that army and security will take all the necessary measure to protect the people and the property in case the clashes will erupt.

Egypt’s media has also reported that several hundred protesters supporting Morsy have attacked the Mental Hospital located in Abbasseya and blocked Salah Salem road causing the transport collapse as the movement has totally stopped on this road.

Another massive group of Morsy’s supporters has moved to the Heliopolis Presidential Palace to protests there, but they were prevented to enter this area by the armed forces and security in attempt to prevent the clashes as there is a point of the rallies of Morsy’s opponents. The marchers have reportedly tried to reach the area so the military fired the rounds of teargas to disperse the crowd and to make them retreat back. There have been also some reports of the attempts of attacking the Ministry of Defense.

Egypt’s capital Cairo faces currently heavy military presence with some roads and areas closed by the military personnel and vehicles in order to control the situation on the city and to keep the security during the rival protests being held in Cairo.

Thus the situation in Egypt remains tense with the deepening political crisis as the Islamist forces refuse to negotiate and international politicians and diplomats pressing the leadership of the country calling for release of Morsy. The situation in the restive Sinai peninsula with the numerous militant attacks which intensified since Mohamed Morsy was ousted also remains tense and cuases deep concerns.