While the new Egyptian government is trying to move ahead regarding the political and the social conditions in Egypt and overcome the Muslims Brotherhood’s (MB) efforts to take the power back, it shows up that the government will deal with a more complex obstacle than MB. Some western countries began to impose sanctions over the Egyptian military, the new government’s biggest supporter, and delay the exporting of weapons and other supplements to it.
The UK was the first to take this action against the military. The UK Business Secretary Vince Cable has revoked five export licenses for Egypt; the licenses covered equipment destined for the Egyptian military or police and included machine gun components. According to Mr. Cable, the revoke was a result of the violence and death of the civilians following the ousting of president Morsi. “We are deeply concerned about the situation in Egypt and the events which have led to the deaths of protesters.” Said Mr. Cable. “The long-standing UK position is clear – we will not grant export licenses where we judge there is a clear risk the goods might be used for internal repression, provoke or prolong conflict within a country, be used aggressively against another country or risk our national security.” He added.
In the same circumstances, president Obama, according to Reuters, has decided to delay the delivery of four F-16 fighter aircrafts to the Egyptian military in a clear message that the U.S. government raised its concerns regarding the violence and human rights abuses in Egypt. Obama also expressed deep concern about the removal of Egypt’s first democratically elected president, calling for a quick return to civilian leadership. Notwithstanding, the U.S. administration has so far not determine its position regarding the ousting of president Morsi; whether to consider it an illegal military coup or not. If so, the U.S administration, according to the law, will cut more than $1 billion in U.S. financial support to Egypt.
These concerns are sought to be legitimate based on the military’s massive abuse of force against MB supporters. According to Al-Jazeera news, no less than 100 died and 4000 injured in Friday’s clashes, nearly all of them are Mosri supporters. In the meanwhile, the military’s leader (Abdul Fatah al-Sisi) called for mass protests supporting the military in its fight against what he called “terrorist”. By referring to the term terrorists, Al-Sisi gave the military a free permission to use all kind of force in order to win the battle against the MB regardless how severe it is.
What is going on in Egypt brings up the question of whether the military can perform a neutral position in the democratic transition. It is well understood that any military can be a mediator in the political sphere, support the stabilization of the country, and protect the nation from any internal or external threats. However, the records prove that calling the military as a “democratizing” power is a major misunderstanding. Military’s control comes, at all times, along with mass violations of human rights and liberates, for example, the military governments in Latin American during the 70th such as Chile and Argentina. For this reason, in order to keep the core theme of the Egyptian revolution “living, liberty, human dignity” alive, Egyptian leaders should accelerate the transition of the power to a civilian leadership.
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