Monday 23 October 2017

Egyptians protest as politican reforms continue

Angry female members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Mohammed Morsi shout slogans
Angry female members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Mohammed Morsi shout slogans

Maggie Michael Cairo

The panel tasked with amending Egypt's constitution following the army's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi began its work yesterday as the military-backed interim leadership forged ahead with its fast-track transition plan aimed at bringing the country back to democratic rule.

While appealing for consensus and reconciliation, Egypt's new government has pushed the transition in the face of opposition from Mr Morsi's supporters who denounce the military coup that overthrew the Islamist leader and reject the new political order that has replaced him.

Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and his Islamist allies have vowed to stage daily rallies until he is reinstated, setting the stage for further instability and potential violence. The rallies outside military buildings are particularly sensitive: Some 54 people, mostly pro-Morsi demonstrators, were killed when soldiers opened fire two weeks ago outside the Republican Guard Club.

The military says armed protesters attacked the facility, while the Brotherhood says the soldiers fired on peaceful protesters.

The killings are the bloodiest episode since the military overthrew Mr Morsi, although there have been smaller bouts of violence that have turned deadly, including on Friday when three women were killed at a Brotherhood rally in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, sparking outrage among the group's supporters. Egypt's prosecutor general opened an investigation and top figures of the new leadership have condemned the killings.

The deaths take the death toll for policemen in Sinai to 13 since Mr Morsi was ousted.

Irish Independent

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