Robert Fisk: As Mohamed Morsi goes to trial, General Sisi should remember –Egypt is a dangerous place to rule
(The Independent) The erstwhile President appears in court at a tense time even by Egypt’s standards
Being an Egyptian leader, however – and if we get to see the man today, Mr Morsi will surely say he still is the president of Egypt – is a rather dodgy profession. King Farouk got deposed in 1952, but he was allowed to sail away on his royal yacht to Italy. General Mohamed Neguib was put under house arrest by Gamal Abdul Nasser and then Nasser died of a heart attack in 1970, three years after he lost his air force, his armies and the Sinai desert to Israel. Then one of his lesser officers, Anwar Sadat, won back part of the Sinai, visited Jerusalem and was shot dead by one of his own soldiers for making peace with Israel. His air force buddy Hosni Mubarak took over and ended up on trial following the 2011 Arab Spring uprising. Gen Mubarak is now at the appeal stage, and today, his successor will also goes on trial. 4 November 2013
Vladimir Putin pre-empts presidency bid by Egypt’s military chief
Russian leader backs Abdel Fatah al-Sisi before candidacy announced as Moscow rattles US Middle East alliances
(The Guardian) Without naming the United States, the Kremlin used Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s visit to Russia to criticise what it regards as American interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Russia’s ties with the US have been badly strained by disputes ranging from Syria’s civil war, to missile defence plans in Europe, to Moscow’s human rights record.
Putin’s public endorsement of Sisi is unlikely to cause a stir in Egypt, where an announcement by the field marshal that he is running in the election is a matter of when, not if.
“I know that you have made a decision to run for president,” Putin said at the start of his meeting with Sisi. “That’s a very responsible decision: to undertake such a mission for the fate of the Egyptian people. On my own part, and on behalf of the Russian people, I wish you success.”
Minister and Consoler: The Man Who Wants to Fix Egyptian Society
(Spiegel) Mohammed el-Mahdi is Egypt’s new minister for reconciliation. He’s fighting to create a new country, even as society fragments. It’s an uphill task in a land where the military is expanding its power and younger generations are digging their heels in for a fight.
El-Mahdi is Egypt’s minister for reconciliation. Earlier, he served as a justice on Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court. He was also a judge at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for four years and had a stint as a legal advisor at the United Nations in Geneva. His job today is to bring peace to Egypt, a country still teetering on the brink.
The world doesn’t have many government officials with El-Mahdi’s job title, but a reconciliation minister is a position Egypt truly does need. As an equitable man with a liberal face to the world, he’s invaluable to the government in Cairo. He knows it, too. If he thinks the government is using him, he doesn’t let on. After all, he also has his own causes and goals. He wants to bring various conflicting — and often hate-filled — segments of society back together and to reconcile generations that have become divided.
OP-ED: Egypt’s Revolution Teeters as Sisi Seeks the Presidency
(IPS) – Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is set to run for president and is expected to win handily. The ruling junta and the interim government have taken several steps to make this happen.
Interim President Adly Mansour recently promoted Sisi to Field Marshal, the highest rank in the Egyptian military, despite his lack of military combat. Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) followed Mansour’s action by giving the newly minted Field Marshal a “mandate” to run for president in response to the “desire of the masses.” Sisi’s response: It was his “duty” and an “obligation” to do so.
Sisi’s high stakes political game comes barely 18 months after former President Morsi appointed him minister of defence and despite his previous statements that the military should shun politics and return to the barracks. While he was publicly declaring allegiance to Morsi and civilian control, he proceeded to conspire against the freely elected leadership and torpedo civilian rule.
Once Sisi “retires” from the military and the cabinet, he would be free to seek the presidency as a “civilian” person. He would then present himself to the Egyptian masses as the “Savior” and “Indispensable Man”—much like other military-turned-civilian dictators who preceded him. He seems to forget that shedding the military uniform and donning a business suit just doesn’t cut it anymore. The era of military dictatorships has passed.
Twenty-nine dead in clashes on anniversary of Egypt uprising
(Reuters) – Twenty-nine people were killed during anti-government marches on Saturday while thousands rallied in support of the army-led authorities, underlining Egypt’s volatile political fissures three years after the fall of autocrat President Hosni Mubarak. … But the growing violence has not dented the popularity of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose ouster of Islamist Mohamed Mursi, Egypt’s first freely-elected president, plunged the country into turmoil. Instead of commemorating Mubarak’s overthrow, tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir to pledge their support for Sisi in an event stage-managed by the state.
Egypt poll sparks protests and celebrations
Pro-military and anti-coup protesters rally in Cairo and other cities during second day of voting on new referendum.
Military Launches a Democratic Missile
(IPS) – As Egyptians head for a referendum Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the fate of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was swept into government in the last election, hangs in the balance.
The ruling military junta has been targeting the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continuously since it seized power last year. Following a Dec. 23 suicide attack which targeted a police station in the city of Mansoura north of Cairo, in which 16 people were killed and dozens wounded, the Egyptian government formally designated the MB a terrorist organisation.
The government accused it of carrying out the suicide attack even though a Sinai-based militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility.