Egypt's top General said today that the violence on the streets of the country might lead to the collapse of the state.
The General in charge of Egypt’s defense forces has stated that the country is in danger of imminent collapse. General Abdelfatah Al-Seesi, the country’s Minister of Defense under President Muhamed Morsi, said that ”The continuing conflict between political forces and their differences concerning the management of the country could lead to a collapse of the state and threaten future generations.”
Egypt has seen more than a week of violence in the streets of its capital Cairo; protestors dissatisfied with the country’s state two years after a revolt that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak, clashed with government forces. Dozens of Egyptian have died in the clashes and the violence continues to weaken the country’s political and economic circumstances.
The Egyptian government has applied for a $5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to shore up the country’s finances. The clashes, and the image of the country owing to them, put that financial aid in jeopardy. Statements from top Government officials anticipating the country’s imminent collapse are just as likely to cause a rejection of the IMF application.
The pressure on the country’s President Mohamed Morsi, who was elected last August in a contentious democratic battle, has increased with every day the violence has continued. Today’s comments from Abdelfatah Al-Seesi add to that pressure. Dissent from the country’s military leader will weigh heavily on the President of a country so recently released from military rule.
Mohamed’s Morsi’s attempts to give himself more power to make decisions have been seen by Egyptians as akin to the power grabs of former leader Hosni Mubarak and the military. His movement in recent weeks have caused more and more Egyptians to openly oppose him by demonstrating on the streets.
Morsi’s opponents have stated that the President is trying to center the country on Islamic principles, and ensure the rule of his Muslim Brotherhood for some time to come. Opposition to Morsi is mostly drawn from centrist and liberal groups, and is led by the youth in a very young country. The groups have said that they want Morsi to accept responsibility for the deaths of Egyptian in the protests and stop furthering the policies of just his party.
Opposition parties have declared that they want to see a government made up of representatives from all of the major political parties to oversee the introduction of a new constitution and a new Republic in Egypt. The country’s future currently hangs in the balance; the reactions of Morsi and the military to the current violence will define the future of the country.
The comments from the Minister of Defense today might even foreshadow another attempt by the military to take charge of the North African nation. It was the military that stripped power from Hosni Mubarak, and they tried to hold that power for as long as possible.
Egypt is in turmoil, and that turmoil has lasted for more than two years. The country may never fully recover from its current chaos, and a lack of unity in the government may make thing’s worse.