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EGYPT-2013

Mohammed Morsi was Egypt's fifth president - and the first civilian and Islamist to fill the role. He was in office for a year before he was ousted, after critics accused him of concentrating power in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood

He is now reported to be under house arrest at an army barracks in eastern Cairo, where his supporters have been staging a sit-in.

On 8 July[2013] the army shot dead some 50 supporters of Mr Morsi outside the barracks in disputed circumstances.

The Brotherhood said the attack was entirely unprovoked, and has called for "an uprising". The army said it was attacked by a group with live ammunition, petrol bombs and stones.

Opposition grew late last year, after he passed a constitutional declaration giving himself unlimited powers and pushed through an Islamist-tinged constitution. He has been repeatedly accused of mismanaging the economy.

Islamists have dominated the political scene since the 2011 Egyptian uprising, winning the majority in parliamentary and presidential votes. The Muslim Brotherhood has operated under its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party.

The Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928. It was officially banned for much of its history, its social work, charities and ideological outreach enabled it to build up a vast grassroots membership

 

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The political crisis in Egypt has deepened following the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi by the army.

His Muslim Brotherhood supporters say they will not accept his removal, while the military-appointed interim leader has laid out plans to change the constitution and for fresh elections.

Here is a guide to the key players shaping the course of events.

GENERAL ABDUL FATTAH AL-SISI AND THE MILITARY

The intervention by the military has underscored the position of the armed forces - led by defence minister General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi - as Egypt's most powerful institution.

General Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi (22 May 2013) Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was instrumental in ousting Mohammed Morsi from power

Following days of mass protests against President Morsi, Gen al-Sisi warned that the military was prepared to step in "to stop Egypt from plunging into a dark tunnel of conflict and infighting".

The army issued an ultimatum to Mr Morsi, instructing him to respond to people's demands or step down within 48 hours. When he failed to do so, it removed him from power and placed him under house arrest.

On 3 July, Gen al-Sisi suspended Egypt's constitution and called for new elections. He was backed by liberal opposition forces and the main religious leaders.

The military's reputation was tarnished during the last transitional period, when it governed Egypt after the fall of then-President Hosni Mubarak. It was accused of breaching human rights and continuing authoritarian rule.

This time round it appointed an interim civilian leader and issued a roadmap leading to fresh elections and was viewed by anti-Morsi protesters as the saviour of democracy, rather than the perpetrators of a coup.

 

The former United Nations nuclear agency chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, had been a favourite to lead a transitional government in Egypt after Mr Morsi was removed from office.

Mr ElBaradei, 71, is coordinator of the main alliance of liberal and left-wing parties and youth groups, known as the National Salvation Front.

AdvertisementMohamed ElBaradei: "We were between a rock and a hard place"

It was formed late last year after Mr Morsi granted himself sweeping powers in a constitutional declaration.

Mr ElBaradei defended the army's intervention, saying Mr Morsi "undermined his own legitimacy by declaring himself a... pharaoh".

Presidential officials initially named Mr ElBaradei interim prime minister, but his appointment was rejected by Egypt's second biggest Islamist group, the Salafist Nour party, which said it would not work with him, and he was passed over.

He was then appointed interim vice-president with responsibility for foreign affairs.

 

TAMAROD (ANTI-MORSI MOVEMENT)

Tamarod, meaning "revolt" in Arabic, is a new grassroots group that called for the nationwide protests against Mr Morsi on 30 June, one year after he was sworn into office. It organised a petition that also called for fresh democratic elections.

Protester holds up a Tamarod petition in Cairo (17 June 2013) The grassroots Tamarod movement had threatened open-ended protests if Mr Morsi did not resign

After millions of Egyptian took to the streets in Cairo and other cities, Tamarod gave the president an ultimatum to resign or face an open-ended campaign of civil disobedience. It was backed by the army.

Tamarod was formed in late April 2013 by members of the long-standing protest group Kefaya ("enough").

Kefaya successfully organised mass protests during the 2005 presidential election campaigns, but later lost momentum because of infighting and leadership changes.

Two representatives of Tamarod stood alongside Gen al-Sisi when he announced on television that Mr Morsi had been ousted.

One of them, Mahmoud Badr, urged protesters "to stay in the squares to protect what we have won". It has since issued statements supporting the military in its fight against what it calls "terrorism".

 

UR AND THE SUPREME CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

Adly Mahmud Mansour, the head of Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court, was sworn in as interim leader on 4 July.

Mr Mansour praised the armed forces and the Egyptian people

As he took the oath, he praised the massive street demonstrations that led to Mr Morsi's removal. The revolution, he said, must go on so that "we stop producing tyrants".

Mr Mansour has set out plans to amend the suspended Islamist-drafted constitution, put it to a referendum and hold parliamentary elections by early 2014. They have been rejected by the Muslim Brotherhood and even criticised by the National Salvation Front and Tamarod.

Since the 2011 uprising, the Supreme Constitutional Court, Egypt's top judicial body, has made a series of rulings that have changed the course of the democratic transition.

Mr Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood supporters claimed its judges remained loyal to the former autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak, who appointed them.

Last June, the court dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament saying it was illegally elected. It also rejected a presidential decree by Mr Morsi to have it reinstated

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MOHAMMED MORSI AND THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

Mohammed Morsi was Egypt's fifth president - and the first civilian and Islamist to fill the role. He had been in office for a year until he was ousted.

Mohammed Morsi (23 May 2012) Critics have accused Mr Morsi of concentrating power in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood

He is now reported to be under house arrest at an army barracks in eastern Cairo, where his supporters have been staging a sit-in.

Tensions increased dramatically on 8 July after the army shot dead some 50 supporters of Mr Morsi outside the barracks in disputed circumstances.

The Brotherhood said the attack was entirely unprovoked, and has called for "an uprising". The army said it was attacked by a group with live ammunition, petrol bombs and stones.

When he came to power, Mr Morsi promised to head a government "for all Egyptians" but his critics say he concentrated power in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood, to which he belongs.

Opposition grew late last year, after he passed a constitutional declaration giving himself unlimited powers and pushed through an Islamist-tinged constitution. He has been repeatedly accused of mismanaging the economy.

Islamists have dominated the political scene since the 2011 Egyptian uprising, winning the majority in parliamentary and presidential votes. The Muslim Brotherhood has operated under its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party.

The Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928. Although it was officially banned for much of its history, its social work, charities and ideological outreach enabled it to build up a vast grassroots membership

More on This Story

Egypt in crisis Features and Analysis

A supporter of deposed President Mohammed Morsi takes part in protest near Ennour Mosque in Cairo, 16 August 2013Struggle for Egypt's future

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and military both believe that the future of Egypt's next generation is at stake, writes the BBC's Jeremy Bowen.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23186408

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Hundreds of people were killed on Wednesday when Egyptian security forces moved in to clear camps in Cairo occupied by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

Armed vehicles dispersed protesters who had been holding sit-ins around Nahda Square and the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in the capital.

The president was removed by the army on 3 July.

Here are some international reactions to the latest violence.

United Nations

The secretary general condemns in the strongest terms [Wednesday's] violence in Cairo. Just days ago, the secretary general renewed his call for all sides in Egypt to reconsider their actions in light of new political realities and the imperative to prevent further loss of life.

The secretary general regrets that Egyptian authorities chose instead to use force to respond to the ongoing demonstrations. He conveys his condolences to the families of those killed and his wishes for a full and speedy recovery to those injured.

In the aftermath of [Wednesday's] violence, the secretary general urges all Egyptians to concentrate their efforts on promoting genuinely inclusive reconciliation. While recognising that political clocks do not run backwards, the secretary general also believes firmly that violence and incitement from any side are not the answers to the challenges Egypt faces.

Spokesperson for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

United States

The United States strongly condemns [Wednesday's} violence and bloodshed across Egypt. It's a serious blow to reconciliation and the Egyptian people's hopes for a transition towards democracy and inclusion.

In the past week, at every occasion, perhaps even more than the past week, we and others have urged the government to respect the rights of free assembly and of free expression, and we have also urged all parties to resolve this impasse peacefully and underscored that demonstrators should avoid violence and incitement.

[Wednesday's] events are deplorable and they run counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion, and genuine democracy. Egyptians inside and outside of the government need to take a step back. They need to calm the situation and avoid further loss of life.

We also strongly oppose a return to a state of emergency law and we call on the government to respect basic human rights including freedom of peaceful assembly and due process under the law. And we believe that the state of emergency should end as soon as possible.

Secretary of State John Kerry

European Union

We are following the ongoing situation in Egypt with great concern. The confrontation and violence... is not a way forward to address the main political issues and challenges the country is facing at the moment.

We have taken note that the Egyptian security forces are geared towards clearing the protest camps and the reports about deaths and injuries in this respect are extremely worrying.

Let me reiterate that the EU's position is that the violence does not lead to any solutions and that is why we are urging strongly all parties to exercise maximum restraint.

Statement on behalf of foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton

Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its people and government, stood, and stand by today, with its brothers in Egypt, against terrorism.

I call on the honest men of Egypt and the Arab and Muslim nations... to stand as one man and with one heart in the face of attempts to destabilise a country that is at the forefront of Arab and Muslim history.

Statement from King Abdullah read out on state television

Turkey

We watched from world televisions as the coup-makers in Egypt explicitly massacred those who wanted their votes to count in a democracy. We have described this from the beginning as a coup, but the West never said that was a coup, and they tried to soften it, describing it as an intervention.

I believe that Egyptian people who believe in martyrdom will recover their rights sooner or later. If the West does not take serious steps, democracy throughout the world will be questioned by those who resisted the military coup in Egypt, did not resort to violence, did not use weapons despite all provocations.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Iran

Iran is following the bitter events in Egypt closely, disapproves of the violent actions, condemns the massacre of the population and warns of the serious consequences.

Undoubtedly the current approach to developments in Egypt strengthens the likelihood of civil war in this great Islamic country.

Foreign ministry statement

United Kingdom

I am deeply concerned at the escalating violence and unrest in Egypt, and regret the loss of life on all sides. The UK has been closely involved in intensive diplomatic efforts directed at reaching a peaceful resolution to the standoff. I am disappointed that compromise has not been possible.

I condemn the use of force in clearing protests and call on the security forces to act with restraint. Leaders on all sides must work to reduce the risk of further violence. Only then will it be possible to take vital steps towards dialogue and reconciliation.

Foreign Secretary William Hague

Germany

We appeal to all political powers to return to dialogue and negotiations and avoid an escalation of the violence. Every further spillage of blood in Egypt must be prevented.

We urge the interim government and the Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protests and at the same time we expect from the other forces that they distance themselves from violence, do not call for violence and do not use violence.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle

France

France condemns the bloody violence in Egypt in the strongest possible terms, and calls for an immediate halt to the crackdown. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is taking this matter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and to our principal partners so that an international position may be urgently adopted to that effect.

The current situation will not be resolved by force. France calls on all the parties to reject spiralling clashes and to immediately begin a dialogue that includes all Egyptian political forces in order to find a democratic solution to this grave crisis.

French foreign ministry statement

Italy

I am deeply pained at what is going on in Egypt, and at the loss of human life there. I was hoping that the squares where the sit-ins took place would empty out once the parties had reached an agreement, and not through the intervention of the police, which doesn't make it any easier to find a solution to the political crisis.

I appeal to all the Egyptian forces to do everything in their power to halt the violence that has erupted there, and to avoid a blood bath. All forces of order must exert the maximum self-control, and everyone must likewise avoid any form of incitement to violence.

Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino

Qatar

Qatar strongly denounces the means by which peaceful protesters in [the] Rabaa al-Adawiya camp and [in] Nahda Square have been dealt with and which led to the killing of several unarmed innocent people among them.

Qatar sees that the secure and safe way to resolve such a crisis is the peaceful manner and the principle of dialogue between the parties who should live together within the framework of political and social pluralism.

Foreign ministry spokesman

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23696963

 

 

 

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