Friday Nov 25, 201107:33 PM GMT
Unrest can drag Egypt into civil war
Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:34PM
Interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor Pan-African News, Detroit.
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Tens of thousands of Egyptians have held mass rallies across the country to renew their protest against the military junta's rule in post-revolution Egypt.


The million man march was scheduled to be held on Friday, dubbed "The Friday of the last Chance."

An analyst says that Egypt's resurgent protests against the Military Council could deteriorate into an armed conflict driven by class divisions in Egyptian society.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor of the Pan-African News in Detroit, to share his opinion on this issue.

Following is a transcript of the interview.

Press TV: There is political talk in Egypt right now ranging from protesters to analysts that is rife with rumors that there is a foreign hand at play. This regards the upcoming parliamentary elections; that there is a plan to create chaos that is in someone's interest to benefit from the delay of these elections; that someone is benefiting from this chaos. If so, who or what is the foreign hand and who would be benefiting?

Azikiwe: Well maybe it's not clear at this time exactly who would be benefiting in regard of the current resurgent of the upheaval in Egypt. I think that what transpired on Friday will be widespread political reaction to the insufficient proposal, a political dispensation of the future of Egypt illustrates that there is still a lot of divisions-class cleavages within Egyptian society.

I think also the role of the military is something that is really going to be resolved very soon because at this point we've had reports of dozens people being killed; the utilization of all types of riot gears and efforts to quell the demonstrations in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria.

I think it really sends a message to the international community that the country could perhaps be on the verge of, if not a civil war, then at least some type of armed insurrection that could develop inside Egypt itself and I think there should be a resumption of dialogue. And I think a lot of these countries, international communities and even the United Nations should play a constructive role in the process of fostering a dialogue in Egypt.

Press TV: To whose benefit would that be? Given the scenario if it descends into chaos, into civil war - to whose benefit would that be - the protesters or the SCAF who holds all the military equipment and enforcement?

Azikiwe: Well it may appear to be serving the benefit of the Supreme Military Council, but in actuality the situation could develop where it could be a split within the military itself in Egypt. And we've seen a trend towards this even in terms of what happened back in January and February where there was the division of which direction the state should take in dealing with these mass demonstrations.

But I think a lot of these developments that are going on right now in North Africa are clearly related to the economic crisis that is going on around the world and all of these countries are still integrated into the world system and when we have this kind of turmoil in Europe and in North America, it's definitely going to have even a more profound impact in developing countries particularly in North Africa and the Middle East.

Press TV: Along the lines of what our other guest Clovis Maksoud said - Do you agree that what people don't want is what's serving US interests given the support for Palestinians based on Mubarak, the futility of the Israeli Palestinian peace process and the overall hatred toward Israel and the gas deal into a Peace Accord?

Azikiwe: I agree with Ambassador Maksoud, I think that the future of Egypt is definitely going to have a lot to do with its relationship with the United States as well as the state of Israel. This is a key aspect of the underlying anger that people have inside the country at this time.

They don't feel they have an equal relationship with the state of Israel and we've seen recently the sabotage of the natural gas pipeline; and of course there was a military activity associated with that as well. So I think there needs to be dialogue inside of Egypt with all the parties involved in the political situation.

AHK/SC/JR

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