Situation in Egypt Deteriorating-Morsi Orders Limited State Of Emergency

Port Said

In response to deadly rioting, President Mohamed Morsi has declared a limited state of emergency.  Morsi said that he won’t stand idly by, while the country slips in to violence and instability.  In a televised speech, he said, “I will act and now I am acting.”  He has ordered a 30-day curfew in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez.  Under the curfew, people living in those cities cannot go out between 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.  Morsi, who was the first democratically elected Egyptian leader, has quickly lost support from those skeptical of the motives of the Muslim Brotherhood.  This latest move by Morsi came about after thirty-eight people were killed and four-hundred fifteen were injured after riots broke out following the news that twenty-one people had been sentenced to death following their roles in a bloody 2012 riot at the coastal city’s soccer stadium.  Morsi has promised those “criminals will face justice as soon as possible”.  He added, “we will deal with them severely.”  There is the belief that those ordered to be executed did not receive fair trials or sentences.  Morsi said that those violently rioting and protesting, “Have nothing to do with the Egyptian revolution.  In fact, it is against the revolution.  However, at the same time he acknowledged that there is some legitimate dissent.  “Dialogue is the only way to have stability and security.”  The violent protests are not restricted to those three cities.  Even Cairo has experienced violence.  Police and soldiers used tear gas to disperse crowds near Tahrir Square, the site where the original protests were born.  According to the state-run newspaper, al-Ahram, “demonstrators threw rocks and burned tires and boxes.”  Those opposed to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, blame both for the increasing violence.  The outcome will ultimately rest in the decisions of Morsi.  If he decides on a violent crackdown, he may find the situation spiraling out of control.  Rather than demonstrate his willingness to crack down on protesters, as all dictators do, if he is truly committed to a peaceful end to the protests, and ultimately democracy, he will need to do so through his actions.  His next move will determine the future of all Egyptians.

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