The markets in Egypt reacted with sheer joy to the Egyptian Revolution 3.0, with the Egyptian stock market rising 7% and adding billions to the economy. Deposed president Muhammad Morsi was considered a poor steward of the economy, and tourism, electricity and services had deteriorated in the year he was president.
But whether the transitional government can address those economic problems and bring stability is still very uncertain. Even as Supreme Constitutional Court chief justice Adly Mansour was sworn in as interim president on Thursday, the military crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood continued, with the army and police tracking down and arresting a number of important figures, including the Supreme Guide, Muhammad Badie, his no. 2, his predecessor, and the former speaker of the lower house of parliament, Saad al-Katatni. The charge against the some 300 Brotherhood figures being sought is apparently instigation to violence. Morsi and the others have called on their fundamentalist followers to resist the deposition of the elected president, which the minister of defense, Brig. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, sees as a thinly veiled appeal for them to take up arms.
The military also continued to ban some television channels, including Aljazeera Egypt and two channels belonging to the hard line Salafi fundamentalist movement. Aljazeera demanded that staff members who had been detained be released. One of the Salafi channels had been involved in whipping up anti-American violence last summer.
The civilian coalition of major civilian political parties that had opposed Morsi, the National Salvation Front, denounced the arrest of Morsi and the others as “a mistake.” Spokesman Munir Fakhri Abdel Nour told the BBC that that while the behavior of a few Brotherhood officials had been reprehensible, they had done nothing to merit arrest, and he said he hoped that they would be freed shortly. (The military is clearly detaining them to ensure they don’t try to launch a rebellion against the new transitional government, which the military has appointed).
Whereas Muslim fundamentalist crowds supporting deposed president Muhammad Morsi in Cairo continued to protest peacefully on Thursday, and to prepare for large rallies on Friday, in provincial Egypt there were a number of large demonstrations and, in places, some violence between pro- and anti-Mursi forces. It is not clear in some cases whether the violence came from anti-Morsi groups attacking the Brotherhood supporters, or vice versa, but in El Arish there appeared to be an armed insurrection by fundamentalists.
El Arish, the door to the Sinai, went into armed rebellion, with pro-Morsi guerrilla groups using heavy weaponry in an attempt to take the airport. Al-Arabiya TV reported that pro-Morsi groups in the city had decided to form a war council.
One Egyptian soldier was killed and three injured in fighting in North Sinai, where pro-Brotherhood guerrillas sues rocket propelled grenades to attack a military checkpoint at Gura.
The USG Open Source center gives some of these other items from the Egyptian press (my arrangement):
‘Egypt: ‘Violent Clashes’ Between Mursi’s Followers, Opponents in Al-Sharqiyah Governorate. Al-Arabiyah Television cited its correspondent saying that violent clashes are taking place between Mursi’s followers and opponents in Al-Zaqaziq in the Al-Sharqiyah Governorate.
‘Thousands’ of MB Supporters March in Al-Buhayrah Governorate Against Mursi’s Ouster — Al-Shuruq al-Jadid, an independent, pro-reform liberal daily, supporting revolution youth groups, At 1248 GMT reports that”Al-Buhayrah — Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters of former President Muhammad Mursi in Al-Buhayrah denounced the 3 July decision of General Abd-al-Fattah al-Sisi, the defense minister, to let the head of the Constitutional Court assume the position of the president of the republic”
Mursi Supporters Take Control of Bani Suwayf Governorate Building — At 1400 GMT, Ankara-based, state-funded Anadolu News Agency in Arabic reports: “Several members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Freedom and Justice Party have taken control over the building of the Bani Suwayf Governorate in the center of the country after they raided the building and forced the military adviser of the governor to leave it”
Egypt: ‘Dozens’ of Mursi Supporters Demonstrate in Suez, Hoist Black, Al-Qa’ida Flags — — Al-Shuruq al-Jadid, an independent, pro-reform liberal daily, supporting revolution youth groups, at 1348 GMT reports that “dozens of supporters of former President Muhammad Mursi, who belong to religious groups and the Muslim Brotherhood in Suez, this afternoon staged a sit-in opposite the Hamzah Mosque calling for the return of the former president. They hoisted black and Al-Qa’ida flags”
Commander: Peace Restored in Suez Governorate Following Army Deployment — At 0832 GMT, Al-Shuruq al-Jadid, an independent, pro-reform liberal daily, supporting revolution youth groups, cites Major General Usamah Askar, commander of the Third Field Army, saying that “peace has been restored in the Suez Governorate and that the army forces are currently deployed throughout the governorate to continue and preserve its security” ‘
The military pledged to allow peaceful demonstrations on Friday (the ones in Cairo and Alexandria could be quite large), but said it would intervene in cases of violence or if attempts were made to block major thoroughfares to to damage property and facilities. The military, a little puzzlingly, said it wasn’t taking any extraordinary measures against any particular political group, in the interests of reconciliation going forward. It seemed to deny targeting the Brotherhood in general, though that is clearly what it is doing. My guess is that the officers mean that Brotherhood leaders who go quietly and do not call for resistance to the coup/revolution won’t be arrested.
Egypt is on a knife edge.