Egypt’s Islamist coalition denounced on Wednesday the army chief’s call for a rally in support of a crackdown on “terrorism and violence,” saying that such a statement was a declaration of civil war.
“[General Abdel Fatah] Sisi’s threats are a declaration of civil war,” said the Muslim Brotherhood-led coalition, which has been demanding President Mohammad Mursi be reinstated following his ouster by the military on July 3.
It warned of the danger of “massacres committed under a false popular cover.”
Nearly 170 people have died in political unrest in Egypt since the end of June, according to a tally by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), many of them in clashes between Mursi’s supporters and opponents.
Sisi’s address came just hours after a blast in front of a police station in Mansura in the Nile Delta, which Mohamed Sultan, head of the emergency services, told AFP left “28 wounded and one dead.”
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that a conscript was killed in the blast.
Senior Muslim Brotherhood politician Essam al-Erian said earlier in a Facebook post that the army’s call for rallies on Friday was a threat and will not stop pro-Mursi protests, also planned for Friday.
“Your threat will not stop the millions from continuing together,” Erian wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday, calling Sisi “a coup leader who kills women, children and those at prayer.”
Moderate Islamist figure and former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh urged the military to row back for the sake of peace.
“That call could lead to civil unrest, God forbid, in light of the opposing mobilization,” the Strong Egypt party said in a statement, adding that it had listened to Sisi’s appeal for demonstrations with “deep concern.”
Egypt’s al-Nour party rejects army call for rally
Al-Nour, Egypt’s second biggest Islamist party, rejected the army chief’s call and said the country does not require a mandate to perform its duty.
“The state does not need a mandate to perform its duty as long as it is within the boundaries of the law,” al-Nour said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“Violations of the law should be handled by the state, but the state’s violations of the law threaten the very existence of the state.”
There has been rising tension following the military’s ouster of Mursi earlier this month. The army chief’s call for protests increases the chances of further violence in the country between pro- and anti-Mursi citizens.
(With Reuters, AFP)