Coup d'etat in Egypt as the military depose Morsi
- Getty Images
Warnings have been issued for all non-essential travel to Egypt (except apparently the Red Sea resorts) after the military staged a coup d’etat last night.
As the crowds in Tahrir Square and across Cairo swelled to bursting point, the head of the armed forces, General Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, announced that he had dissolved the constitution and nominated the Chief Justice, Adli Mansour, as interim president on Thursday. Presidential and parliamentary elections are apparently set to follow soon, and a transitional cabinet is to be named in the coming days.
A social media statement from deposed president Mohammed Morsi described the army’s actions as a ‘full coup’, and Morsi was reportedly being held in army custody late last night. The head of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing and the Brotherhood's deputy chief had been arrested while state television announced that arrest warrants for 300 other Brotherhood members.
With both pro and anti Morsi rallies in full swing, some violence was inevitable and at least 14 people were killed in reported clashes between the camps. In Cairo, protestors were jubilant, with a carnival atmosphere running rampant across Tahrir square as people danced in the streets and let off fireworks.
In the wake of the sustained anti Morsi protests, General Sisi sought to convince the public that the military were acting in their interest and purely as caretakers.
"We will build an Egyptian society that is strong and stable, that will not exclude any one of its sons," he said before going on to speak of his ‘historic responsibility’.
But the uncertainties are legion. Will the hundreds of thousands of Morsi and Brotherhood supporters passively accept the removal of their democratically elected government? How will the Islamists now view the democratic process? What does it say about the stability and future of a country when a freely elected government is deposed by the military? Is there any hope for a government getting a proper mandate and the time in which to implement its policies before discontent boils over and the army steps in again? How representative is this revolution? Is this triumph over tyranny or inviting a fresh tyranny? With Western capitals releasing cautious statements, unsure of how to address the current situation, the future in Egypt seems treacherous.