Friday, August 16, 2013

World News: Hundreds killed in ongoing Egyptian conflict surrounding president's ousting

Conflict regarding the July 3 ousting of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi hit dangerous levels on Thursday, as military forces continue pushing out protesters backing Morsi throughout the streets of Cairo. Supporters had been camping out for several weeks, according to news reports.

Security forces arrested leaders of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, leaving the movement on shaky ground. And, vice president Mohamed ElBaradei had resigned in protest over the government crackdown as the military-backed leadership instituted a month-long state of emergency and nighttime curfew, according to the Associated Press.

Morsi was Egypt's first democratically elected leader after winning the first post-Hosni Mubarak presidential election with just under 52 percent of the vote. The Muslim Brotherhood was repressed for decades under Mubarak's rule and the election of Morsi was part of Islamists' rise to power following the Arab Spring wave of revolutions that led to the ouster of Mubarak and autocratic leaders in Tunisia and Libya, the AP reported.

As for the United States, Secretary of State John Kerry joined other Western countries condemning the violence, saying it dealt a "serious blow" to political reconciliation efforts and urged Egypt's interim leaders to step back and calm the situation. Washington still has not declared Morsi's ouster a coup, a move that would force the Obama Administration to suspend $1.3 billion in annual military aid to the nation. The U.S. role was largely to encourage the interim government to fulfill its promises to enact political reform, the AP said.

It's hard to tell what's next for Egypt as the Islamic militant violence continues. Let us pray for this country that the leaders and military come to a resolution so the bloodshed will cease.

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