Fear of ‘collapse’ in Egypt

Demonstrations commemorating the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution have turned into violent riots against the new Muslim Brotherhood government.

The protests against President Mohamed Morsi and the new Egyptian constitution centred on Tahrir Square in Cairo on Friday. The following day, severe rioting took place in Port Said after 21 football fans were sentenced to death for their involvement in the killing of 74 supporters of Cairo’s Al-Ahly team last year.

Over the past week, more than 50 civilians have been killed in rioting across Egypt. While Mr Morsi has called for a “national dialogue”, most opposition parties are blaming him for the heavy-handedness of the security forces and are calling for his resignation.

Meanwhile, in a rare intervention in politics, the commander of Egypt’s army, General Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, issued a call on Tuesday to end the crisis “which could lead to the collapse of the state.” This was interpreted by many to mean that the army was threatening to send in its soldiers.

Last updated: 7:45pm, January 31 2013