The police and allegedly armed civilians opened fire on Saturday (this morning) on protesters against Egypt’s new military government, so witnesses have said and expressed in as many words to the international press.
Killing scores of people as hopes fade that the Egyptian military would or even could reach any political accommodation with the Muslim Brotherhood and its ousted president, Mohamed Morsi.
What this means is that Egypt is now a very divided country, and tells us a lot about the ruling class led in this case by the military and General Abdel Fattah al Sisi, who is also Defence Minister and played a central role in the overthrow of Muris.
It was Sisi, who called for Egyptians to rally on Friday to give him a mandate to tackle “violence and terrorism; just note the using of the words ‘violence and terrorism’. And yet it seems that the violence is emanating from the fireplace of the General coated with labeling of the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists.
The regime is not a personal dictatorship if it survived the removal of Mubarak or any other specific figure, it is then a military oligarchy that has the support of the US and of course Britain.
The military regime has its origins in the Free Officers’ Movement, which overthrew the British colonial puppet king Farouk in 1952. Before regaining independence, Egypt was ruled by a succession of empires, before that it endured the despotism of pharaohs. Mubarak too was popularly known as “the Pharaoh” and so Egypt has been if you like a kind of dictatorship one way or the other for the last 11,000 years.
The latest burst of violence came after a vast state-orchestrated display of military power on Friday, with army helicopters hovering over a huge throng of flag-waving, pro-military demonstrators in Tahrir Square and soldiers deployed in armored personnel carriers across the capital Cairo.
The mass gathering was another blow to the Arab world’s most feared and prominent Islamist group, which until recently was the major political force in government, having repeatedly won elections after country’s uprising two years ago. Well over 100 people have been killed in clashes between supporters and opponents of the Brotherhood in the last month.
Al Jazeera reports the Pro-military rallies as being larger and free of violence but the main pro-army protests have taken place in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square which if anything is a very clever but provocative move by the army playing the Egyptian people off against each-other as in the old divide and rule weapon now used in Egypt