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Coup in Egypt

The Egyptian coup d’etat took place on 3 July 2013 when the army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led a coalition to remove the then president of Egypt, Mohammad #Morsi from power and suspend the constitution. The move came after an ultimatum had been issued by the #Egyptian military for the swift resolution of all pending differences and the ending of the national #protests. Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders were arrested and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour was declared the interim president of the country, which was followed by widespread demonstrations and #clashes between the supporters and opponents of the coup.

With the exception of #Qatar and #Tunisia that vehemently opposed the military’s actions, most Arab nations chose to remain neutral or supportive of the coup d’etat. Leading the mixed international reactions to the events was the #US which chose to refrain from describing it as a “coup”. The #African Union suspended #Egypt from its membership citing the disruption of constitutional rule, while the Western media has variously described the events of 3 July 2013 as either a “coup” or a “revolution” depending on their political standpoints.

Pro-Morsi demonstrations and sit-ins were violently crushed with protestors being massacred in large numbers, as were journalists joining the cause, on 14 August 2013. The #Muslim Brotherhood claims almost 2600 casualties, while the Human Rights Watch documented about 904 deaths describing it as a ‘crime against humanity and one of the largest killings of #demonstrators in recent history’, making it one of the bloodiest massacres of contemporary times. The government puts the figure at 624 deaths. The military justified the coup by citing economic failure of the Morsi government as well as diplomatic and international back-peddling. Issues of national security were also raised.

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