Egypt – what is happening in Egypt (Aug 14,2013)

Sudha Rajput explains the ongoing Egypt conflict in simple terms.
Country: Egypt (population 85m)
Gov HQ: Alexandria (coastal city in Egypt) – other gov offices in Nile Delta area
Neighbors: Northeast (Israel and Gaza Strip) West (Libya) South (Sudan) – Egypt’s Israeli border is in close proximity to Jordan and Saudi Arabia, although there is no land border between them.
Type of violence: POLITICAL UNREST (Morsi supporters vs security forces) – SECTARIAN VIOLENCE (Christian minority vs Muslim majority)
Root Cause: – Root Cause of this violent episode –people were unhappy under Morsi – sinking economy, absence of political reform.
International Community: condemning the latest violence (of Aug 14, 2013), US is urging the parties to resolve their differences peacefully and refrain from violence –
Conflict Parties: retaliatory clashes bn security forces (military backed interim gov) and Morsi supporters (Muslim Brotherhood)
Conflict Stage: Escalation
Conflict-handling orientation: Confrontational – blame game – tit-for-tat –
Implications: (i) could turn into Syrian style civil war that has killed >100,000 (ii) International impact – Egypt’s stock markets and banks (remaining closed)
Situation: security forces killing supporters of ousted pd Mohamed Morsi (Egypt’s first democratically elected president) of Muslim Brotherhood in a July 3 coup– Former pd (autocrat) Hosni Mobarek was topped in 2011 uprising – Morsi’s party had emerged after Mubarak’s fall as the country’s strongest political force. Mohammed el Baradei, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, the VP of the interim gov resigned – interim Egyptian gov had promised for a smooth transition to a democratically elected civilian administration – many Morsi-allied Muslim Brotherhood members have been arrested – these large-scale arrests of Brotherhood members are similar to the authoritarian approach adopted by Mubarek government, when the Islamist group was banned and repressed – authorities are blaming the Islamist forces for the violence that erupted Aug 14 – Morsi supporters are running makeshift hospitals – current gov is blaming Brotherhood for burning churches – these sectarian attacks reflect anger of the minority Christians in Egypt – Camps were set up by Brotherhood supporters to demand reinstatement of Morsi – Authorities claim that Morsi supporters have been staging unauthorized sit-ins for the last 6 weeks – military is holding Morsi and his top aides, and prominent Islamist leaders, incommunicado since the coup.
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