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Friday, July 26, 2013

Egyptian political forces are divided over the call of El-Sissi for the Friday protests nationwide

Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, Egypt's Defense Minister and Army
Chief Commander
Egyptian political powers and different groups remain divided over the call of Egypt’s Armed Forces Head and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah El-Sissi to hold the Friday marches all over Egypt to support army in its fight with violence and terrorism.

We would remind here that Egypt’s Chief Commander of Armed Forces General Abdel Fattah El-Sissi has called on Wednesday during his speech at the Alexandria military academy for the Egyptians to take to the squares and streets of Cairo and other governorates nationwide for the Friday protests in order to support the military and security forces and “to give the mandate for the war against violence and terrorism” in the country.

This statement came amid the continuous violent clashes between the supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsy and loyalists of Muslim Brotherhood and his opponents and security forces as well. The violent clashes erupted between the protesters since the ouster of Egypt’s Islamist President of 3 July have taken dozens of lives and left hundreds injured.

In addition to that the situation on the restive Sinai Peninsula which suffers from security vacuum and terrorist activity since the withdrawal of Egypt’s longstanding President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 remains extremely tense and dangerous with the attacks of the armed militants against army and police on a daily basis.

The call of General El-Sissi for Egyptians to stage the protests on Friday, 26 July, in all the Egyptian governorates in attempt to support the state’s military in its actions against the violence and terrorism met different reactions with some political forces and groups supporting this call and other forces denouncing it as inappropriate in the current situation in the country.

Thus several political groups and powers backing 30 June revolution, including the massive Rebel movement, have supported the initiative of El-Sissi declaring they will participate in the Friday demonstrations.

Meanwhile April 6th Movement, one of the most significant revolutionary groups in the country, has denounced the call of General El-Sissi and stated their members will not take a part in the Friday rallies against terrorism. In their official statement they claim Egypt’s Armed Forces and Police have the highest duty to defend the people and keep security and peace and they don’t need any other mandates and additional measures such as demonstrations in attempt to gain the popular support. In addition to that any measures like that on the current could cause more violence and deepen the crisis in the country making the reconciliation process and possible talks with the opponents almost impossible.

Egypt’s Al-Nour Party, the biggest Salafist party which backed the army decision to oust Mohamed Morsy has also denounced the call of General El-Sissi. They claim this call is the call for mobilization which could spark more violence as there is a threat of targeting specific groups of society. Such measures will not help the reconciliation process in Egypt and could only drag Egypt into civil war.

The Revolutionary Socialists have also rejected and denounced the call of El-Sissi for Friday mass demonstrations claiming this move being a threat to the country’s security.

Meanwhile Egypt’s Interim President Adly Mansour made a statement through his official spokesperson calling for Egyptian citizens of different political and ideological views to remain peaceful and avoid any violence and escalation during the Friday protests.

Egypt’s interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawy has also urged Egyptians to stay peaceful and to reject any violence.

Egypt’s armed and security forces in their turn have deployed the additional troops and military vehicles in the city to protect the people and public and private property and guarantee security during the protests.