Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-led Anti-Coup Alliance has called for an “intifada” against newly elected President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on the first anniversary of the ouster of former president and Brotherhood member Mohamed Mursi.
The Anti-Coup Alliance, initially formed by members of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organization, issued a statement this week calling for anti-government rallies to be held across the country.
A number of protests were held in Egypt on Thursday, including in Cairo and Alexandria, on the 11-month anniversary of the 2013 Republican Guard massacre. At least 50 pro-Mursi protesters were killed in Cairo last July attempting to storm a Republican Guards barracks in Cairo’s Heliopolis district where Mursi was being held.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, sources within the Anti-Coup Alliance said that Brotherhood members had called for the umbrella group to escalate and intensify its protests across the country in the run-up to the first anniversary Mursi’s ouster on July 3.
An Anti-Coup Alliance statement called for an “unprecedented million-man” protest against the government on June 20.
However, Anti-Coup Alliance leader Magdi Qarqar told Asharq Al-Awsat: “It is not realistic to expect the intifada we are calling for on July 3 to bring about change, but we want to preserve revolutionary action in order to create an accumulative effect that will allow for change.”
“I hope that the authorities respect the constitution that confirms the right to peaceful protest,” he added.
The move follows Sisi’s assertion that did not rule out “political reconciliation” with Mursi’s supporters during a meeting with British delegates on Saturday, according to presidential spokesman Ihab Badawy.
During the meeting, Sisi said that the “other side” must clarify what it can offer the country and “stop claiming they own the ultimate truth.” The new president hailed the freedoms and rights enshrined in Egypt’s new constitution but added that there must be a balance between “freedoms and rights and the security of the nation.”
Egypt’s interim government banned the Muslim Brotherhood last December, declaring it a terrorist organization and blaming it for a spate of attacks on security personnel and installations since the ouster of Mursi by the country’s military in July.