Egypt has been making the news these past few days (even weeks), and continues to make the news especially for all the wrong reasons.
Since the revolution also known has the ‘Arab Spring’ spread through Egypt more than two years ago, the country has not known peace.
For Egypt, it’s being more or less a seesaw with what appeared to bè initial gains of revolution turning out to bè eventual losses (as the possibility of release of former President Hosni Mubarak looms).
Apart from Libya, where it can bè said that the revolution may have atleast birthed an entirely new beginning, though with its peculiar hiccups, there’s no other place where the Arab Spring landed where it can bè said that the people or revolutionaries have truly reaped the fruit of the revolution the got wounded and died for.
Tunisia is yet to fully recover, with opposition secular activists and politicians becoming subjects of target practice for Islamists by the day, while the Islamist backed government totters as it grapples with political instability, in the mildest of aftermath of the Arab Spring while Syria is engulfed in a civil war in the gravest of them all.
Egypt, with all that has happened within it, has now become the face of all that could bè right and at the same time wrong with a revolution.
The hopes and dreams they nursed post-deposition of Mubarak were dashed by the succeeding Freedom and Justice Party led by now ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
It can bè argued that he wasn’t given enough time seeing that he had barely ruled for a year before TAMAROD and other groups opposed to his style of government instigated his removal by powerful streetwide protests similar to those that brought Mubarak down, but it is instructive also to note that Morsi, within the short but eventful period he held sway trampled heavily on a lot of democratic norm, appearing only to rule in favour of the ideologies of his party like he won a landslide in the first place.
The military, whom the Egyptians have had to loathe and love and loathe…. again during the course of the revolution till date appeared to bè left with no options but to intervene.
This intervention which was popularly received by most Egyptians and welcomed by most Arab nations that had become weary of the direction the Muslim Brotherhood was leading the country, was cautiously received by the governments of Western Nations, who didn’t like to bè seen to bè actively supporting a government that arose from the deposition of a democratically elected government.
While the anti-Morsi protesters left for home satisfied that their aim of toppling Mohammed Morsi had been achieved, his supporters who at the time were in the minority took centre stage.
Their days of protests has now culminated into several crackdowns by the military backed interim government led by Adly Mansour, leading to deaths of hundreds on the sides of the protesters and tens amongst the security forces.
This has also begun to affect the support the military enjoyed amongst it’s foreign backers who are appalled by the heavy handedness of those saddled with the responsibility of clearing protesters from their protest sites. The Muslim Brotherhood have not fared any better in terms of damage to PR as their activities in recent times (including the burning of several Orthodox Christian Churches and Schools) has continued to lend weight to the assumption of their tendency towards extremism and recourse to acts of terrorism, when things don’t go their way.
In the wake of all the brouhaha, the insurgent group in the Sinai Peninsula apparently feeling not to bè left out of the melee struck yesterday, ambushing a convoy of policemen, killing them by shooting them in the back of their heads while they laid faced down on their bellies.
Neighbourhoods opposed to the pro-Morsi agitators have formed vigilante groups to protect their neighbourhoods from those they consider ‘Terrorists’.
It’s left to bè seen whether the recent arrests of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood will lead to a softening of rhetoric and bellicose threats they’ve been issuing in the last few days about their intention to make Egypt ungovernable unless their demands are met.
The fact is, the Muslim Brotherhood had their chance but blew it away big time. You may argue that true democrats should’ve waited till the next elections to change him, but things would’ve spiralled out of hand too. It’s on record that the anti-Morsi group were many times more than the pro-, and if indeed democracy leans on the side of the majority, the most sensible thing Morsi should’ve done was to announce early elections and not the knee jerk reactions he opted for in the dying days of his regime.
As it currently stands, the best scenario the Muslim Brotherhood can hope for will bè to be allowed even to partake in any future election, as it is, events have put them in the black books of most Egyptians, and Foreign powers and neighbours.
I sincerely hope the situation in Egypt will not degenerate into a state of civil war, and this will be a possibility if moderate figures within the pro-Morsi camp prevail on their more hardline colleagues to tow the more respectable path of dialogue, which may offer them a chance to be involved in the future governance of their great country, Egypt.