Tuesday 24 April 2018

Not even safe to bury the dead as chaos reigns on streets of Cairo

Kim Sengupta Cairo

The family of Mohammed Khair Gamal had been looking for his body for the last three days after he was shot dead.

They found him at the end in the morgue at Zinhom, a place which his mother, a doctor, knew well, among a pile brought in from the massacre on Monday, when army troops fired on Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

Not many of the corpses were going to be released in time for a mass memorial the Brotherhood movement had planned for their dead supporters yesterday, amid apprehension that it would be the catalyst for yet another round of vicious strife which had wracked Egypt since the Brotherhood-backed Mohammed Morsi was deposed as president by the military.

Yesterday, the first steps towards the country's new political future were announced by the interim administration with Hazem el-Beblawi, a prominent economist, named as prime minister and Mohamed ElBaradei – whose own appointment to that post was blocked by the conservative Islamist party, Al-Nour – becoming a vice-president.

The army also reminded politicians who wields the real power now. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, its chief, said: "The future of the nation is too important for manoeuvres or hindrance" – a message believed to be aimed at Al-Nour, which had backed the departure of Mr Morsi, but had subsequently proved problematic.

Acting president Adli Mansour also proposed a 'fast-track road map' in which amendments to a constitution Mr Morsi had forced through while in power which will be put to a referendum in four months, followed by parliamentary and presidential elections next year.

UPRISING

The appointments and the constitutional proposals were immediately rejected by the Brotherhood which repeated its call for an uprising first made after more than 51 of its supporters died and 440 were injured in in what it called a "cold-blooded massacre" outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard.

Zinhom morgue, meanwhile, was a place of chaos with dozens of bereaved families and friends angry that they were being denied the Islamic religious rite of burial within 24 hours. The view among many was that the proposals for the new constitution were a sham. (© Independent News Service)

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