EGYPT’S ISLAMIST PRESIDENT DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY AS VIOLENCE INTENSIFIES: ‘A COMPLETE STATE OF COLLAPSE’
CAIRO (TheBlaze/AP) — Shortly after the second anniversary of the revolution that brought Mohammed Morsi to power, the Islamist Egyptian president has declared a 30-day state of emergency in the three Suez Canal provinces hit hardest by a wave of political violence that has left more than 50 people dead in three days.
Angry and almost screaming, Mohammed Morsi vowed in a televised address that he would not hesitate to take even more action to stem the latest eruption of violence across much of the country.
“I instructed interior ministry officials to strictly deal with whoever threatens people, and public and private institutions,” Morsi said, according to Russia Today. He claimed that the move is “for the sake of Egypt.”
Residents of the three provinces– Port Said, Ismailiya and Suez– will have a mandatory curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., Al Ahram reports.
After months of ramming through his agenda, Morsi also invited the nation’s political forces to a dialogue to resolve the country’s latest crisis.
“There is no going back on freedom, democracy and the supremacy of the law,” he said.
But the predominantly secular and liberal opposition has declined Morsi’s offers of dialogue in the past, arguing that he must first show a political will to meet some of its demands.
“I don’t see how these decisions will instill any confidence in the people,” Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh said. “The people feel that there was a complete state of collapse especially after riots today, particularly with tear gas being fired into the funerals.”
The worst violence this weekend was in the Mediterranean coastal city of Port Said, where at least 44 people died in two days of clashes that began on Saturday. The spark was a court conviction and death sentence for 21 defendants involved in a mass soccer riot in the city’s main stadium on Feb. 1, 2012 that left 74 dead.
At least another 11 died on Friday elsewhere in the country during rallies marking the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak. Protesters used the occasion to renounce Morsi and his Islamic fundamentalist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, which emerged as the country’s most dominant political force after Mubarak’s ouster.
Here are some photos of the escalating violence in post-revolution Egypt: