Is Egypt on the verge of civil war?

Source: Asia Times:
Is Egypt on the verge of civil war? General Fua’d Al’lam, a general in the Egyptian Security Services and former Director of Security in Port Said, believes that it is.

In an interview entitled, “Civil War on the Doorstep Followed by the Revolution of the Hungry,” General Al’lam warns that continued chaos will result in civil war and the splintering of Egypt into several mini-states. He goes on to warn, “Civil war is very close, the revolution of hunger very, very close.” [1]

The General’s warning was not without foundation. Egypt clearly possesses the preconditions for civil war. The ability of the Egyptian government to meet the basic needs of its population for food, shelter, work, and security fades by the day. Public services have followed suit as shortages of fuel and electricity have become endemic. Religious and class tensions have increased apace, as have political riots and demonstrations. All reflect an economy on the verge of collapse.

Riots and demonstrations are only part of the picture. Political militias are forming, most armed by weapons flowing into Egypt from Libya and the Gaza Strip. There are also an untold number of criminal gangs, religious police, armed tribes, feuding clans, private security firms, and anarchist groups such as the hooded Black Block whose members kill at random. More frightening are calls for arming the public and the creation of a “National Guard” independent of the security forces.

Egypt’s situation is unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future because its political institutions are in disarray. The popularly elected Muslim Brotherhood controls both the presidency and the parliament. However, it can’t rule effectively in the face of sustained opposition from the seculars, the ultra Islamic extremists, and the entrenched remnants of the old regime.

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Categories: Africa, Egypt

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