Egypt military crackdown unjustifiable: Analyst

Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African news wire, from Detroit over the recent deadly clashes across Egypt, which have left more than 100 dead.


What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Our guest there [Habib Tawa] is indicating that …, well let’s go by what the state media in Egypt are branding these people who are being killed at the hands of security forces, the pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters on the streets; they are branding them as terrorists. As a matter of the fact that was this CG on top of the screen that says these people are terrorists.

Now, how could they be calling them terrorists, when the Egyptian security forces are the ones who are killing people out on the streets?

Azikiwe: There is a propaganda war that is going on inside of Egypt itself between those who oppose the military coup d’ état of July 3 and those who have coups , are tempting to provide a rationale or justification for this massive police and military crackdown that has resulted in the deaths officially of hundreds of people.

Now, of course we get different figures from those who are sympathetic and supportive of the Freedom and Justice Party and the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, it is the army, it is the police who have stayed in power in Egypt right now; it is the military, a backed interim council, that declared a state of emergency inside the country and they ordered all opponents of the military coup of July 3 off the streets.

They have detained the ousted President Morsi now for over six weeks; other leading figures within the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist trend affiliates are being detained by the government in Cairo.

So it is going to be very difficult for them to justify this type of carnage that is going on; particularly in the face of the fact that many of these civilian or secular supporters of this July 3 military seizure of power are now starting to break ranks with General al-Sisi and the others.

We have seen a tremendous amount of evidence of this over the last few days with the resignation of Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, also with the statements that were issued by the April 6 Youth Movement, the revolutionary socialists and of course today with the resignation of Mr. Khaled Daoud from the National Salvation Front, who [was] saying that he could not any longer justify what the military and police are doing to people in Egypt.

The destruction of the two encampments on Wednesday and burning of corpses inside of mosque, all of this is not going to lead to any type of political solution to the crisis in Egypt. It is going to further bring about isolation political as well as economic isolation for the existing government right now in Egypt.

So they have to come to the realization that there is no security or military solution to this crisis, that they have to open up dialogue with the Islamic currents inside the country.

Press TV: what is the role of the United States here? we have seen flip-flopping of …. when we back from 2011 up to now, when [Egypt’s ex-dictator Hosni] Mubarak was ousted up to even now, what is the deal with America?

Are they working with Saudi Arabia? Are they distancing themselves from Saudi Arabia? Some say that Saudi Arabia has told the interim government, you know what! Let America let go of that aid, we will give you USD 1.3 billion. Is that true? How do you see it?

Azikiwe: Of course the United States has had long, fraternal economic and political and military relationships with the ruling elites in Egypt.

This goes back over three decades and of course this has been something that we have of course observed and very much aware of and evaluating this entire conflict; however, at the same time the Muslim Brotherhood, had gotten support as well from the Obama administration, they are willing to support a Freedom and Justice Party government, they are willing to support an interim government as backed by the military, as long as these government do not collide with the interest of Washington, particularly the Pentagon and of course the Intelligence services here in the United States.

But it does not matter whether one supports the Muslim Brotherhood or opposes the Muslim Brotherhood. We have been just as critical and had been just as critical of the policies of President Morsi during one year in which he was in office.

He made a considerable amount of heiress during his tenure in office, but at the same time this could not justify an extra-judicial removal of him from power; it could not justify the utilization of the snipers against the people who were demonstrating in the streets.

We see hundreds of people who have lost their lives and this is according to the official accounts from the health ministry and interior ministry in Egypt.

These figures are being supplied through the state-run media inside the country and of course the proponents of this crackdown on the anti-coup elements inside the country can in no way justify this type of massive, undemocratic censoring of people who merely oppose the continuing incarceration of the president as well as this type of military and police crackdown against protesters.

They have created an atmosphere inside the country right now , where is going to be very difficult for any type of national reconciliation talks to take place.

There needs to be some type of third party intervention in terms of mediating this conflict, because the character of the opposition inside the country, it has become so polarized that it would be almost impossible for Egyptians to sit down and bring about some type of reconciliation to this crisis.

We have, on the one hand, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, on the other hand, we have the supporters of the military and of course there are cracks that are developing in non-alliance.

The National Salvation Front that is starting divisions with their non-alliance and also some of the more or left secular groups are breaking with this interim council and even some of the liberal elements as well, because they realize this cannot be justified domestically or internationally.

Press TV: our guest Habib Tawa, mentioned democracy on more than one occasion. Isn’t it that exactly what is being killed right now? The notion of democracy, even reports are saying people who were against Morsi, they do not like what they are seeing on the streets by this interim government appointed by the army. Your last comments, 3o seconds.

Azikiwe: I think that the pro-military elements within Egypt are going to fracture even more and there is going to be a turning against the military and the police for the sake of the national reconciliation of the country.

There is no solution in an attempt to drive the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic trends completely under ground inside the country. This could of course lead to an armed civil conflict which would be bad for Egypt, it would also be bad for people to occur in entire region of North Africa in the Middle East indeed.


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