Chaotic Egypt teeters on collapse, warns general

EGYPT’S Defence Minister, General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, has warned that the state is at risk of collapse.

Failure to resolve the situation ”could lead to grave repercussions if the political forces do not act” to tackle it, General Sissi said on his Facebook page.

”The continuing conflict between political forces and their differences concerning the management of the country could lead to a collapse of the state and threaten future generations,” he said.

The comments posted on Tuesday were extracts from a speech he gave to students at a military academy.

He further warned the political, economical, social and security problems facing Egypt constituted ”a threat to the country’s security and stability”.

Earlier, thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Egypt’s three Suez Canal cities in defiance of a night-time curfew imposed by President Mohammed Mursi after dozens were killed in clashes with police.

Witnesses said protesters took to the streets of Port Said, Ismailiya and Suez City on Monday night as the 9pm curfew went into effect to stage ”breaking the curfew” demonstrations.

The protesters chanted slogans against Islamist rule, ”Fall, Fall the rule of the guide [of the Muslim Brotherhood]”, referring to Dr Mursi who hails from the Brotherhood.

Mahmud Abu al-Majd, of Port Said, said: ”We are on the streets because no one can impose their will on us. We won’t bow to the government.”

In Ismailiya, witnesses said the protesters decided to hold football matches on the streets as part of their protests.

Yet for all those who took to the streets on Monday, there were just as many who stayed home, thinking Dr Mursi has not had a chance to solve Egypt’s intractable corruption and economic problems. They think that protesters should honour the June election results that elevated Dr Mursi to the presidency and speak at the ballot box in coming parliamentary and eventually presidential elections.

”Don’t tell me people are going to the street because they have a hard life. They are taking revenge for the killings,” said Mohammed Noor, 26, of Port Said. ”It is like waves of vengeance. It will continue until one side gets tired or this turns into a real revolution with real leaders.”

Dr Mursi on Sunday declared a month-long state of emergency in the provinces of Port Said, Suez and Ismailiya after riots that left about 50 dead and hundreds wounded.

In a television address he also slapped curfews on the provinces from 9pm to 6am.

The main opposition grouping, the National Salvation Front, which is fractured among many smaller parties, said on Monday that it would not hold national reconciliation talks with Dr Mursi, a position, some protesters said, that made the opposition seem as tone deaf as the President.

Protesters rejected a military takeover, noting that the generals had assumed power after Hosni Mubarak stepped down and had failed in 18 months of rule to bring about reform.

On Monday, the Islamist-dominated Senate ratified a law that would grant the armed forces powers of arrest.

In the US, the Obama administration condemned the unrest.


The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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