Thursday, 8 August 2013
Egypt: Polarisation leads to an escalation of casual violence
There have been 80 deaths in the last week in clashes between security forces and protesters and between pro- and anti-Morsi supporters in Cairo, Alexandria, Mansoura and other cities.
Both sides blame the other for causing the violence. The Muslim Brotherhood protesters say their movement is peaceful. It appears to be but there are well-documented exceptions. In the current febrile atmosphere these get widely circulated and feed into the rhetoric of the Brotherhood's enemies.
The army also rejected that it was responsible for the deaths in July, despite eyewitness accounts to the contrary.
Polarisation could affect the army. There is some concern within it that some soldiers might reject orders to fire against protesters. The Brotherhood has been calling on soldiers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with it. Many ordinary Egyptian soldiers work an eight-hour day and return home in the evening and are thus not immune to all manner of political influences.
For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.
© 2013 Menas Associates