Army takes over in Egypt as Morsi is placed under detention

By Henry D Gombya

Anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo demand that President Morsi steps down
Anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo demand that President Morsi steps down

There has been a military coup in Egypt following peaceful but at times violent protests against the one-year old regime of President Mohammed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood leader who became the country’s first democratically-elected president around this time last year, is now under military detention as well as several of his ministers.

On Tuesday the army had given President Morsi an ultimatum to listen to the demands of the opposition lest the army steps in with its own ideas. The ultimatum was ignored by Dr Morsi who insisted he would follow his own plan to restore order to the country. Hours after its ultimatum passed, the Egyptian army moved into key areas of Cairo including the main Television Centre where they started monitoring programmes being beamed out to the country.

Tens of thousands of anti-Morsi protesters cheered wildly when the country army commander General Abdul Fatah Khalil al Sisi went on state TV to announce the army had finally brought down Dr Morsi’s government. The general announced there would be fresh general and parliamentary elections. Wire sources say President Morsi has been placed under detention at the Republican Guard Club along with the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, the party and his deputy. It is understood the army has also ordered the arrest of at least 300 members of the Brotherhood.

There are unconfirmed reports that Egyptian officials have placed an international travel ban on Dr Morsi and other senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The army is involved in a show of force, fanning out across Cairo and taking control of the capital. A BBC correspondent in Cairo described seeing eight armoured personnel carriers heading for Cairo University in Giza, where one of the main pro-Morsi demonstrations was being held. At least 16 people were killed and about 200 wounded at the university when gunmen opened fire on protesters on Tuesday night.

Before the army’s ultimatum to President Morsi expired at 16:30 (15:30 GMT), he posted a Facebook message calling for a roadmap involving an interim coalition government. One of Mr Morsi’s aides, Issam al-Haddad, wrote on his Facebook page that he was “fully aware” his words might be the “last lines I get to post on this page”, adding that what was happening was a “military coup”.

One thought on “Army takes over in Egypt as Morsi is placed under detention

  • July 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm
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    Calling the take over of Morsi’s government a military coup is not only misleading, but also disrespecting the popular will of the people. At best, this should be called “The People’s Coup” in which the Egyptian military participated. Twenty million people demonstrating and calling for change day in and day out, left the military with no choice but to join the party. It is a clear indication that the Egyptian military is a people’s army and not a bunch of thugs that belongs to and protects their commander in chief only like our Ugandan military who will go at length to shoot and kill innocent demonstrators calling for similar change of guard like the Egyptians have just done.

    The Egyptian army has behaved in the most dignified way for the first time in the history of any military coups around the world, but in particular Africa. First and foremost, Morsi was given 2 days to try and find a common ground between his party and the people, instead he went on a national TV defiantly rejecting the military call for constructive dialogue..Democracy is not just being elected by the people to the highest office in the land, but it is also an acceptance of those who are marginalized. For this, I fully support the action of the Egyptian army regardless of what Western Democrats and Liberals think. What is wrong with other parts of the world developing their own ways of politics and democracy in which the military is part and parcel? After all, they are citizens too and not some hired assassins. For how long will the world remain slave of Western ways of political thoughts and ideals? Don’t other people have values and culture too? Common folks, for a change look the other way, than this mono-directional path we have been accustomed to, since Plato’s Republic was written and published becoming the only Political Bible from which we derive all these democratic flares be it in the remotest parts of Ecuador or Somalia where some have never even heard of the name Plato, nor the book, The Republic.

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