Civilian supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi die for the cause in Egypt in record numbers. It is reported over 600 people have been killed with more than 3,500 injured in violent clashes with provisional military forces. With the death tolls raising observers are of the opinion that the violence will persist. Many feel that the civil disruption will go on for a number of years unless mediation efforts are accomplished.
“I don’t think there’s any reason to expect calm for years,” said Elliott Abram, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. “You have a very divided country.” Most of the civilian population is unarmed and experts state that a civil war is less likely to occur as it has in countries like Syria and Libya.
“I don’t think Egypt is descending into civil war, but it’s certainly descending into civil strife,” said Khaled Elgindy, a fellow at the Brookings Institute. “I don’t see any of the key players, including and especially the military, reassessing the direction that they’re moving in. Deaths and critically injured numbers have continually risen since the beginning of protests that was a result of the removal of president Morsi’s regime.
Civilians are continuing to die for the cause of reinstating Morsi’s style of democracy in Egypt. The military has a firm grip over Egypt’s economy and the people are resolute not to remain in a subservient state under their rule. The Muslim Brotherhood continues to rally the people and stand firm in efforts to reinstate the cast out government overthrown on July 3.
“In Egypt, you don’t have a huge armed population and the chance of the military splitting the way it happened first in Libya and later in Syria is less likely because the role of the military in Egyptian society has been very separate from the population, and very privileged.”
Many officials in Egypt are resigning amidst escalating violence in the streets and society as a whole. Interim government minister Mohamed ElBaradei resigned his post and other lower level officials have followed. Other religious factions in the Egyptian society are slowly being drawn into the conflict between the opposing sides. Christian factions largely silent during the conflict are now being forced to side with rioting protesters.
“Since the ouster of Mubarak two and a half years ago, I would say the main constant has been that at each fork in the road, Egyptian political actors have consistently chosen the wrong path,” said Elgindy. “There have been multiple crises, and with each new crisis, instead of reassessing and trying to correct the problem, they end up deepening it.”
If the death rates increase in Egypt with civilians continuing to die for the cause of reinstatement, the clear move will be to pronounce the July overthrow a coup and suspend government aids to the country. This would be an effective step in the direction to stemming the violence. The Interim government could be coerced into mediation with Brotherhood officials.
By Thomas Barr