Sunday 17 December 2017

Coup chief accused of stirring up Egyptian civil war

Gen Abdulfattah al-Sisi
Gen Abdulfattah al-Sisi

Colin Freeman

The leader of Egypt's military coup has been accused of stirring up civil war after calling for a mass demonstration to counter the unrest provoked by the deposing of President Mohammed Morsi.

General Abdulfatah al-Sisi, who removed Mr Morsi from power in a coup backed by the president's secular and liberal opponents, urged Egyptians to turn out tomorrow to give him a "mandate" to quell violence at recent anti-government protests.

"On Friday, every honourable and honest Egyptian must come out," he said during a speech for military cadets in the coastal city of Alexandria.

"Please, shoulder your responsibility with me, your army and the police, and show your size and steadfastness in the face of what is going on."

More than 100 people have been killed in the three weeks since Mr Morsi was toppled, as supporters of the former president have clashed with supporters of the coup and the security forces.

ISLAMISTS

Islamist militants have also stepped up attacks on troops in Egypt's lawless Sinai Peninsula, with two soldiers killed in an ambush yesterday and a car bomb blast near a police training centre.

While General Sisi did not specifically name any political faction, his words were seen as an attempt to seek backing for a decisive move against supporters of Mr Morsi, who have promised to stage street protests until he is returned to power. The former president is in detention along with a number of other leading figures in the Muslim Brotherhood.

A statement from the Brotherhood said that General Sisi's comments were "an announcement of civil war".

Dr Wael Haddara, a senior Morsi aide who is visiting London this week, described tomorrow's demonstration as a "mob action" that was likely to encourage the very kind of state-sponsored violence it purported to wish to avoid. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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