The Minister of Defense in Egypt, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, warned on Tuesday that the state could collapse because of the continuing conflict politically that is taking place. The statement was a rebuke to Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and his leftist and liberal opponents.
Al-Sisi is the commander of the armed forces in Egypt and said the social, economic and political challenges taking place in the country represent a danger to security and cohesion of the Egyptian state, if there are not changes made.
The General spoke following unrest that has taken place over the past six days, which has killed over 45 people in clashes between protesters and police, for the most part in Port Said but in Cairo, Suez and other cities as well.
In what some will interpret as a suggestion that the military could intervene if instability continued, al-Sisi said the military would be the solid and cohesive block and a strong pillar that would support the state and would be the army for everyone in Egypt regardless of affiliation.
The General also mentioned that deployment of the military in troubled cities that border the Suez Canal was to secure the important waterway, which the army said would not be touched.
Egyptians on Monday defied the efforts to restore order by President Morsi as security forces and demonstrators clashed for the fifth straight day and tension increased between opposition rivals and the government.
Parliament’s Upper House, which is dominated by Islamists, approved a controversial Morsi proposal granting the army the power to arrest civilians. This came just a day after he called for a state of emergency and a curfew in the cites of Suez, Port Said and Ismailia, which all border the Suez Canal.