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Egypt: bloody unrest flares again

brussels bureau

Egypt: bloody unrest flares again


Only days before Egypt is due to hold elections, the country looks to have descended into its biggest crisis since February. While back then the fall of President Hosni Mubarak and the Egyptian army’s temporary take over was widely greeted, some say the latest violence stems from a lack of perceived change from the old regime.

Middle East and Egypt expert Bichara Khader said: ‘‘The policy of repression continued after the fall of Mubarak. The Military Council wants to pass a law guaranteeing the army’s power in Egypt. In a sense creating a state within a state, which is not acceptable.’‘

Many protesters are calling for Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak’s long time General, and now head of Egypts military council, to go. But some observers, say the army’s poor management in handing over power doesn’t bode well.

‘‘Up until recently we saw that the reaction of the population was relatively peaceful. But now we can see things are getting worse, that the protests are getting more violent. This is the big danger. That this leads to a spiral of violence between the people and the army, which is not used to managing these kinds of uprisings, like in a democracy, or responding to the population’s demands,’‘ Philppe Hensmans from Amnesty International said.

For the moment the military is still insisting next week’s elections will go ahead, perhaps in the hope such a promise will calm the spreading violence.

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