Egyptian Crisis (2011–present)

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"Egyptian crisis" redirects here. For the crisis of 1840, see Oriental crisis.

The following is a chronological summary of the major events which took place during and after the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.

Background[edit]

Events[edit]

2011 revolution[edit]

Top: Tahrir Square protestsers on February 9; Bottom: The main headquarters of the National Democratic Party on fire.

Unhappiness among many Egyptians with the autocratic rule of 30-year President Hosni Mubarak boiled over in late January 2011 amid the Arab Spring, a series of popular protests and uprisings across the region. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians occupied several public places across Egypt, including Cairo's Tahrir Square, holding out despite efforts by Mubarak loyalists and police to dislodge them, most notably during the infamous Battle of the Camel. Mubarak offered some concessions, among them was appointing Omar Suleiman to the long-vacant office of vice president. He also announced that he would not seek re-election. None of this satisfied protesters, and under international pressure and lacking the support of Egypt's powerful military, Mubarak handed over power to Suleiman on 10 February 2011 and resigned as president the following day.

The Muslim Brotherhood declared it would throw its support behind the protests two days after they began.[1] Authorities ordered an overnight crackdown on the group, and the following day, January 28, they rounded up several senior Brotherhood figures, among them was Mohamed Morsi who would later become the country's president in 2012.[2] Amid growing instability that day (the "Friday of Anger") as well as on January 29, scores of police officers and other security personnel were killed, mainly as part of the systematic torching of police stations and orchestrated attacks on prisons across the country, during which Morsi among other Muslim Brotherhood leaders were able to escape, an incident which gained relatively low media attention compared to the protest movement but would later become a political issue in Egypt due to the alleged role of the Palestinian group Hamas among others in the violence.[3][4][5]

The police were overwhelmed by the number of protesters. They were forced to retreat from several parts of Cairo, causing them to lose their grip on the country. This was mostly due to the panic among police officers during the jailbreaks and the riots. Police brutality and the excessive use of force against demonstrators also contributed to the Interior Ministry's withdrawal.[3][6] Simultaneously, the government deployed the army in response to Friday's violence. However, the military decided to remain neutral during the uprising despite a heavy presence of troops on the streets, especially in Cairo and Suez.[7]

Sinai insurgency[edit]

Main article: Sinai insurgency

An increase in militant activity by Islamists initiating as a fallout of the 2011 Egyptian revolution drew a harsh response from interim Egyptian government in mid-2011 known as Operation Eagle. However, attacks against government and foreign facilities in the area have continued by mid-2012, resulting in a massive crackdown by the new Egyptian government nicknamed Operation Sinai.

2011–12 transition[edit]

After Hosni Mubarak's resignation on the night of 11 February 2011, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) under Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi assumed control of the country. This period was marked by major protests calling for the end of military rule and multiple tragedies, the worst being the Port Said stadium disaster. Despite the turbulence of the transitional period in Egypt, polls have shown that the SCAF has enjoyed wide legitimacy from the Egyptian people and general confidence in their ability to provide free elections. A poll in October 2011 showed that 91.7% of Egyptians have confidence in the SCAF to provide the conditions for free elections. The SCAF at that time had a general approval rating of 40.6%.[8]

Election of Mohamed Morsi[edit]

In June 2012, elections were held and Mohamed Morsi won 51.7% of the vote versus 48.3% for Ahmed Shafik. President Morsi, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), resigned from both organizations and took office on 30 June 2012. This marked the end of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces transition period.

2012–13 presidency of Mohamed Morsi[edit]

On 22 November 2012, after granting himself unlimited powers to "protect" the nation, and the power to legislate without judicial oversight or review of his acts, Mohamed Morsi followed his decrees by making an effort to push through a referendum on an Islamist-supported draft constitution.

The move has been criticized by Mohamed ElBaradei who stated "Morsi today usurped all state powers & appointed himself Egypt's new pharaoh" on his Twitter feed. The move has led to massive protests and violent action throughout the country.[9]

2013 mass protests and coup d'état[edit]

By 30 June, on the first anniversary of the election of Morsi, millions of Egyptians flooded the streets of Cairo with tens of thousands of protesters surrounding the presidential palace in the Heliopolis suburb demanding the resignation of Morsi with the number of protesters said to have reached as many as 2 million[citation needed] making it the largest in Egypt's history.The events escalated forcing the military to announce that it would intervene on behalf of the protesters.

On 3 July, Egyptian armed forces headed by Abdul Fatah al-Sisi acted on its 48 hours ultimatum to intervene "on behalf of the people", ousting President Mohamed Morsi,[10] suspending the constitution, appoints head of constitutional court as interim leader and calls for early elections.[10]

2013–14 transition[edit]

Left: Rabaa al-Adaweya Square packed with Muslim Brotherhood supporters; Right: Bodies of pro-Morsi supporters killed in clashes with security forces in Rabaa al-Adawiya, 27 July 2013.

Violent clashes, erupted in the aftermath of the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état (referred to by some media outlets as the Egyptian crisis[11][12]) following the 3 July 2013 removal of President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt by the Egyptian Armed Forces amid popular demonstrations against Morsi's rule. In the immediate aftermath of Morsi's ouster, many protesters amassed near the Rabia Al-Adawiya Mosque to call for Morsi's return to power and condemn the military, while others demonstrated in support of the military and interim government. Deadly clashes erupted on several days, with two particularly bloody incidents being described by Muslim Brotherhood officials as "massacres" perpetrated by security forces.[13][14]
In mid-August, the violence between Islamists and the Army took a more critical spiral, with dozens killed, and the government declaring a month-long nighttime curfew.[15]

On 24 March 2014, an Egyptian court sentenced 529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death.[16] By May 2014, approximately 16,000 people (and as high as more than 40,000 by one independent count),[17] mostly Brotherhood members or supporters, have been imprisoned since the coup.[18]

Election of Abdul Fatah al-Sisi[edit]

General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi emerged as a massively popular figure in post-coup Egypt,[19] and he eventually declared his candidacy for president in 2014 elections. According to results from the Egyptian elections authority, he won 96.9% of the vote, rivaling numbers reported for Hosni Mubarak in periodic elections and referendums during his reign as president. Nonetheless, al-Sisi's election was widely recognized internationally.

Impact[edit]

Economy[edit]

Egyptian economy is still suffering from a severe downturn following the 2011 revolution and the government faces numerous challenges as to how to restore growth, market and investor confidence. Political and institutional uncertainty, a perception of rising insecurity and sporadic unrest continue to negatively affect economic growth.[20]

Real GDP growth slowed to just 2.2 percent year on year in October-December 2012/13 and investments declined to 13 percent of GDP in July-December 2012. The economic slowdown contributed to a rise in unemployment, which stood at 13 percent at end-December 2012, with 3.5 million people out of work.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nobel Peace Winner Returns to Egypt to Lead Anti-Government Protest Movement". Associated Press. Fox News. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Muslim Brotherhood Arrests Reported As Egypt Protests Continue". Reuters. Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Al Sharif, Asma; Saleh, Yasmine (10 October 2013). "Special Report: The real force behind Egypt's 'revolution of the state'". Reuters. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Hendawi, Hamza (11 July 2013). "Egyptian prosecutors to investigate if Hamas helped Mohammed Morsi escape from prison during 2011 revolution". Associated Press. National Post. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Hendawi, Hamza (23 May 2013). "2011 jail breaks become political issue in Egypt". Associated Press. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Egypt police struggle to crush protests against Mubarak rule". Agence France-Presse. Daily Nation. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Ahmed, Amir; Pleitgen, Frederik; Watson, Ivan (5 February 2011). "Key members of Egypt's ruling party resign". CNN. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Raman, Suby. "Poll- Do the Egyptians really want to overthrow the military government?". Tabeer. 
  9. ^ Story of the Egyptian Revolution 2011-2013 (Documentary) (in English/Arabic). Internet Archive. 15 November 2013. 17 minutes in. 
  10. ^ a b President Morsi overthrown in Egypt - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
  11. ^ Sommerville, Quentin (1970-01-01). "BBC News - Egypt crisis: 'Scores killed' at Cairo protest". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  12. ^ Metro UK (2013-07-10). "Egypt crisis: Hundreds killed in violent Cairo clashes". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  13. ^ "Cairo death toll rises after clash at Republican Guard headquarters | African News". BDlive. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  14. ^ "Egypt: More than 100 killed in Cairo massacre". Asharq al-Awsat. 27 July 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "International News | World News - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  16. ^ "Egyptian Court ordered Death sentence to 529 Members". Dawn.com. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  17. ^ A coronation flop: President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi fails to bring enough voters to the ballot box, economist.com.
  18. ^ "Egypt sentences to death 529 supporters of Mohamed Morsi". The Guardian. 24 March 2014.
  19. ^ "How Egypt’s Gen. al-Sisi Won TIME’s Person of the Year Poll". TIME. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  20. ^ a b Egypt Overview worldbank.org, April 2013