The Egyptian Political turmoil has engulfed the nation in political uncertainty and chaos. The removal of Morsi has polarized the Egyptian society into Liberal and Islamist blocks. The political deadlock has turned violent, with supporters of both blocks involved in violence against each other. This article is an overview of the current political turmoil in Egypt, an attempt to analyze the situation. It also analyses the stakes involved in the crisis for the country, its people and the region and further tries to answer if the situation can deteriorate into a civil war in Egypt. Finally some measures, by which this political deadlock can be broken peacefully, like peaceful negotiation and reaching a compromise, have been discussed.
General Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi on 3rd July, 2013, ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi a year after coming in office due to constant public protest. The drastic step from the military emerged mainly because of the widespread public protest in Egypt against the President whom they now viewed as both incompetent and autocratic. The army led by Al-Sisi responded to the command of the protestors by putting Morsi under house arrest and even detaining the Muslim Brotherhood. He then declared Adly Mansouras as the provisional President of Egypt. However, the declaration soon led to clashes amongst the followers and opponents of the military coup all over Egypt.
So, now what is at stake?
The power battle between the Liberals supported by the Army and the Muslim Brotherhood is likely to decide the future of Egypt though it will have serious bearings on the entire region. If the Islamists don’t heed the calls of the liberals in diffusing the tension through an all-inclusive approach, the nation is ought to fall into chaos. The situation is already dire and the Army is struggling to maintain order. There have been reports of hundreds of casualties due to violence between the supporters of opposing camps. The economy of Egypt has been failing from the moment Morsi took over and even now the situation looks no good. The failing economy and the constant violence and chaos can collapse Egyptian state – One of the most modern and developed Islamic Nation in the world. Egypt occupies a strategic place in the Middle East, and if the Nation falls into further chaos or a civil war then it would be disastrous to the region. The Suez Canal that passes through Egypt would soon destabilize and eventually result in serious economic woes for Egypt and the world.
Large volume of trade passes through Egypt will have serious consequences for global trade. If Egypt descends into a cycle of revolution and counter revolution, not only will it be a disaster for Egypt, but it will be a tragedy for the entire expanse. (Fox
Is a new civil war looming?
The current situation of Egypt is dire and chances of the crisis turning into a civil war are very much there. . With the Army and Liberalists on one side and Muslim Brotherhood support on the other side, it gives a clear picture and if necessary steps have not been taken, the country may fall into the grip of civil war. The reasons can be summarized as:
1. The liberals who fought together with Muslim Brotherhood are on a road of confrontation.
2. The army has again taken the political power and the date for elections has still not declared and it doesn’t seem feasible in near future.
3. With the very chances of entering of Al-Qaeda and other extremists group in this confrontation, the situation can be worse.
But the picture remains unclear as the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters lack arms to take on the Egyptian Army. Moreover it is not clear if the Islamists have the stomach to make war against the state if the deadlock continues. The lack of international meddling in the Egyptian Politics is also another factor that makes the possibility of a civil war unlikely. The strategic importance of Egypt is one thing that will make world powers like the USA to restrict the crisis to its current dimension, as a civil war will have severe consequences for all the neighboring countries and will jeopardize the delicate balance and security in the precarious Middle East region.
How can a disaster be averted?
The only solution to this turmoil is an all inclusive approach, by which all section of Egyptian people will come together for a consensus. Both the liberals and Islamists should come to a compromise. Priority should be given to order and stability. The people of Egypt should team up for the well being of their nation. A new constitution should be drafted by all the parties together, as only a strong constitution can bring about stability and freedom to the country’s people. The Army should stand on its promises and should let the civilian government take charge after fresh elections. The Muslim Brotherhood should take into consideration the primary concerns of the Liberals and Christians. Attempts should be made for Political reconciliation between opposing factions. The Army should back down and stop arresting and dispersing peaceful Muslim Brotherhood leaders and supporters. Morsi who is under arrest should be released and both the factions should come to the table for peaceful negotiation of the political deadlock. (BBC News-published on July 9th 2013)
The goal of Egyptian revolution was to overthrow the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak and to bring freedom, order and stability to the country. However, even though the dictatorship was overthrown, freedom, order and stability are still elusive to the people of Egypt. The problem started with the non inclusive style of governing of Morsi, which enraged the liberals and non-Islamists. Moreover the weak and failing economy of Egypt frustrated the people and large number of people started protesting against Morsi. With the growing dissent, the Army intervened when Morsi refused to give in to the demands of the liberals, and ousted Morsi from Power. The arrest of Morsi infuriated the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters, who in turn protested against the removal of Morsi. Now, the situation hasn’t improved much with the both faction and their supporters refusing to give in to each other’s demands. The situation has reached a deadlock. The polarization of Egyptians into the liberal and Islamist camps has brought about a dangerous situation where civil unrest can turn into a full-fledged civil war. It can have dire consequences for Egypt and the whole region if the situation further deteriorated. It is high time that the leaders of both the faction negotiate with each other and try to reach a compromise. A consensus should be reached so that peace prevails and the country stabilizes. The future of Egypt depends on it and opposing parties should let go of their differences and work together for a better and stronger Egypt.
This post is co-authored by Deepti Verma and Avinandan Choudhury