Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Egypt: Protesters demand Morsi’s reinstatement

Islamists took to Egypt's streets on Friday, despite warnings by the military of a crackdown on violent protests.

The rallies come a day after Morsi's army-installed successor Adly Mansour vowed to fight for stability against opponents he accused of wanting to plunge the crisis-hit country "into the unknown".

A vast crowd gathered at Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, where Morsi's supporters have camped out since the military overthrew him on July 3.

About 10 000 protesters then set off in the direction of the Republican Guard headquarters, scene of deadly clashes last week, carrying pictures of the deposed president and chanting slogans.

But they were blocked by soldiers and armoured vehicles.

"Islamic, Islamic," they shouted, of their hopes for an Islamic state, as fighter jets flew overhead and military helicopters whirled in the sky.

"I believe Morsi will return as president, God willing. The people will win in the end," said a man who gave his name as Mohammed (45).

'Breaking the Coup'
Smaller rallies took off elsewhere in Cairo, second city Alexandria, and other towns across Egypt after Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood had called for a day of protests dubbed "Breaking the Coup".

Mansour, in a speech on Thursday night, pledged to rein in those who wanted to push Egypt "into the unknown".

"We will fight the battle for security to the end. We will preserve the revolution," he said, in comments echoed by the army.

Although mostly peaceful, the pro-Morsi protests have resulted in deadly clashes, with the unrest claiming more than 100 lives in all, according to an Agence France-Presse tally.

In the bloodiest single incident, at least 53 people died, mostly Morsi supporters, during clashes with soldiers outside the elite military barracks where they believed Morsi was being held.

The military on Thursday warned it would decisively confront any violence in the protests.

"The armed forces warn against any deviation from peaceful expressions of opinion, and the resort to violence," it said on Facebook.

"Whoever resorts to violence in Friday's protests will endanger his life, and will be treated with utmost decisiveness, within legal bounds."

Anti-Morsi activists
Separate rallies were also planned for later on Friday by anti-Morsi activists in Tahrir Square and outside the presidential palace, raising the possibility of violence in the capital.

Their demonstrations have been far smaller since the mass rallies clamouring for Morsi's resignation in the days leading to the coup.

In his speech, Mansour offered an olive branch to the Brotherhood, saying: "The framework of justice and reconciliation extends to all."

The movement has categorically refused to recognise Mansour's caretaker government, which was sworn in this week but with Islamist parties and movements totally absent.

Instead the Brotherhood is placing its hopes in sustained protests it believes may reverse the coup.

Thousands of Islamists have been camped out around Rabaa al-Adawiya, where they have vowed to remain until their goal is achieved, despite the growing anger of residents.

"We began our protest on June 28 and we will continue until Dr Morsi is reinstated," said one demonstrator on Friday.

Relaunch peace talks
Another major challenge facing Egypt's new government is the security situation in the restive Sinai peninsula, which has witnessed a surge in violence in the past two weeks.

The military began deploying reinforcements on Tuesday, with numerous members of the security forces killed and wounded in drive-by shootings and rocket attacks by suspected Islamist militants.

Three police officers died in separate attacks in north Sinai on Wednesday night and another was shot dead on Thursday, according to security sources, while the armed forces have killed 10 jihadists since launching their latest operation.

On the diplomatic front, Egypt Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy spoke by phone with his US counterpart John Kerry about the latest efforts to relaunch peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and the domestic situation in Egypt.

Like most of the international community, the United States has refrained from saying Morsi was the victim of a coup, which would legally require Washington to freeze some $1.5-billion in US military and economic aid to Cairo.

Britain on Friday announced it was revoking export licences for equipment used by Egypt's military and police amid concerns it could be used against protesters. – AFP

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Samer Al Atrush
Samer Al Atrush works from تونس. Journalist based in covering North Africa. DM open. Stock disclaimer. I hate mangoes. Samer Al Atrush has over 15683 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

South Africa breaking more temperature records than expected

The country’s climate is becoming ‘more extreme’ as temperature records are broken

More top stories

Deep seabed mining a threat to Africa’s coral reefs

The deep oceans are a fragile final frontier, largely unknown and untouched but mining companies and governments — other than those in Africa — are eying its mineral riches

Komodo dragon faces extinction

The world’s largest monitor lizard has moved up the red list for threatened species, with fewer than 4 000 of the species left

DA says ANC’s implosion has thrown local government elections wide...

The DA launched its 37-page manifesto on a virtual platform under the banner “The DA gets things done”.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×