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Daily News Analysis

Egypt slides into chaos as bombings and reprisals escalate

Crescent International

The Egyptian military wants total control of the state but it seems people are not prepared to accept this without a fight. There has been an escalation in protests as well as bombings since General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the now-retired army chief and defence minister, announced on March 26 he wants to be president.

Cairo, Crescent-online
Wednesday April 02, 2014, 10:21 DST

Two people were killed and seven injured in three bomb explosions outside Cairo University in Giza City today. Among the dead was a police brigadier general identified as Tarek al-Mergawi. He was a detective in the police force.

According to officials, the first two bombs went off seconds apart of each other. Apparently explosive devices had been concealed in a tree between two security posts. The third explosion occurred shortly afterwards near a police checkpoint.

Sources at the university said the explosions occurred at the engineering faculty during clashes between students and security forces. Such clashes have become more widespread including at Al Azhar University where security forces frequently storm the campus beating up students protesting against the military’s brutal tactics against supporters of ousted president Mohamed Mursi.

In addition to Cairo University, two other universities—Helwan University south of Cairo and Mansoura University, north of the capital—were also evacuated and searched for explosives. There were also a number of arrests at Cairo and Mansoura universities.

These add to the total of more than 16,000 people arrested since the military coup last July that ousted the first-ever elected president in Egyptian history.

Human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned mass arrests, mass death sentences (529 in one case in Minya for the death of one policeman in August of 2013) and routine torture of detainees in Egypt’s notorious prisons.

Protests have escalated further since General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the former military chief and defence minister, announced his decision on television to run for president. El-Sisi made his announcement on television on March 26 indicating who is the boss in Egypt.

No media outlets critical of the military or its puppet regime is allowed to function. Only military approved channels and newspapers are permitted to operate.

Despite this, there have been massive protests against Sisi’s candidacy causing alarm in ruling circles.

Observers believe that Sisi would be a shoe-in because the entire system is massively rigged and the Egyptian establishment will ensure his success—perhaps by as much as 99 percent, re-enacting the farce that was routinely carried out during the Mubarak’s era—but that would still not guarantee legitimacy.

Mass arrests, terror trials, death sentences, mass trials and torture are reflective of the regime’s lack of support among the masses. There is also widespread discontent among workers.

El-Sisi may be able to reach the presidency—unfortunately the life-long ambition of most Muslim generals these days—he will not find ruling the country a cakewalk. Egypt’s economic woes are deep and the thieves and thugs that control the levers of power are not prepared to make any concessions to ease the pain of ordinary people.

Egypt is fast sliding into a state of total anarchy as the state intensifies its oppression and some Egyptians resort to desperate measures of bombings and attacks to hit back.


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