Egypt: Following in the footsteps of Algeria

Egypt: Following in the footsteps of Algeria
3 min read
09 Jul, 2015
Comment: The deterioration of Egypt's security is a direct result of Sisi's military coup, as modelled on Algeria in 1992 - a coup that ended in civil war.
Barakat died after a car bomb on 29 June 2015 [Anadolu]
Recent events in Egypt show a sharp deterioration in the security situation, caused by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's military coup.

On 29 June 2015, the prosecutor-general of Egypt, Hisham Barakat, died after a terrorist attack. He was killed by a car bomb in a well-guarded part of the city.

Barakat was an important regime figure, who had attracted a great deal of animosity for his role in ensuring the success of Sisi's military coup on 3 June 2013.

During his term as state prosecutor, he was responsible for thousands of controversial prosecutions, including those which resulted in death sentences and imprisonment of hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

The most prominent of these was the elected president, Mohamed Morsi, whose death sentence was confirmed on 16 June 2015.
     Egypt's military rulers cannot brush off their responsibility for dragging the country into a dark tunnel.

Throughout his military coup Sisi adopted the same model as the Algerian army in 1992, when it annulled the parliamentary election won by the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS).

The army then threw the party's leadership in jail.

It led to a ten-year civil war that killed a quarter of a million Algerians, and caused extensive economic and psychological damage. The scars of this period are still visible 23 years later.

At the time, FIS leaders asked supporters to refrain from violence. However, some youth leaders and those who had been historically marginalised took up arms. As a result, Algeria lost its chance to build a pluralist democracy based on the peaceful transition of power.

Nowadays, there are lessons to be learned from Arab countries that have witnessed popular revolutions to remove corrupt and repressive regimes.

This includes Egypt's 25 January revolution that led to the election of a new parliament and president, and raised hopes other countries could follow in its footsteps.

However, when the military staged a counter-revolution it pushed Egypt in another direction. It failed to learn from the civil war in Syria, that resulted from Bashar al-Assad's decision to counter Syrian dreams of liberty and dignity with bullets.

Egypt's military rulers cannot brush off their responsibility for dragging the country into the dark tunnel it currently finds itself in.

Its military rulers are illegitimate and only know the language of violence.

Those who annul election results by force and kill or imprison their opponents have no right to complain when their action encourages terrorism and creates chaos.

Basheer al-Baker is a veteran Syrian journalist and writer of poetry.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.