The Muslim Brotherhood kept its promise to hold protests in a “Friday of Rage” in defiance to the state of emergency ordered by the Government, and the Egyptian authorities answered opening live fire against the protesters with the result of another bloodshed. There were also clashes between pro-government civilians and so-called anti-coup protesters.
Clashes and gunfire continued in Cairo while I was writing this comment so the exact number of casualties were unknown, but they were talking about more than 130 dead people across the country, 95 of them in the main incident between the security forces and protesters in Cairo, near the Ramses Square.
The news confirmed the fears that the violent crackdown of the pro-Morsi sit-ins with the result of hundreds of dead people had started a dangerous circle of violence, that includes clashes between civilians divided in two sides. A deep crisis and a dangerous escalation.
The government and the military will need a big show of force to control the situation, before it goes into total chaos. But that means right now more violence and less liberties for the people with the state of emergency and the curfews. And if they succeed and stop the protests, they will have to keep up the security after a traumatic experience. So, back to an authoritarian regime?
General Abdel Fatah El Sisi and interim president Adly Mansour promised to draft a new constitution and call new elections with participation of all. But now the Government define the Muslim Brotherhood as “terrorist”, responsible of a “brutal terrorist plot”, to defend the violent measures against the demonstrators. Not all will be included, it seems.
In a statement, the Egyptian Army said it had deployed forces along all main roads and squares, and was ready to intervene “in case there is any imminent threat that violates the people’s security”. The Brotherhood called for a week of daily marches in anger with what’s happening. So, more violence ahead.