Four challenges Facing Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-sisi

Author: Abdel Bari Atwan

The bloody attack targeting a vehicle transporting Egyptian security forces in the suburb of Halawan to the south of the egyptian capital and that led to the death of eight police members who were all dressed in civilian attire comes at a very bad time for President Abdul Fattah es-Sisi and his cabinet, a time where the country is seeing an escalation in the economic and political crises. For ISIL to reach the heart of Cairo is a bad omen for the Egyptian Authority, especially since, for two years now, the Authority has been fighting a vicious war against this group in the Sinai Peninsula and has so far failed to eliminate the group despite the heavy human and financial losses suffered by the Authority and its forces…

The timing of this bloody operation comes at a difficult time for the Egyptian authorities and President Es-Sisi who is now facing four real crises:
First: A state of growing anger in the circles of the Egyptian journalists over the raid against their syndicate and the arrest of two of their colleagues while President Es-Sisi is refusing to respond to their demand and present an apology or to sack the Minister of Interior, Magdi Abdul Ghaffar. These [i.e. the journalists] had been strong supporters of Es-Sisi in confronting his adversaries, the MB group.

Second: The crisis of waiving the Tiran and Sanafeer islands off to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which stirred a state of anger at the level of the Egyptian Street…Third: The murder of Italian student, Giulio Regeni, in mysterious circumstances and the subsequent deterioration in the relations between Egypt and Italy with the latter eventually pulling its ambassador from Egypt. Things were made worse due to the conflicting official Egyptian stories concerning this murder knowing that official Italian circles confirmed that the student was tortured before being killed by the Egyptian security sources that had arrested him. Fourth: The collapse of the Egyptian pound’s value…

The main paradox is that most of the analyses within and outside Egypt agree on the fact that the MB group – or the “hanger” where the regime is hanging all its accusations – has nothing to do with these four crises although the movement does represent the largest opposition group… The one certain thing is that the Halawan attack will push President Es-Sisi to further enhance the iron grip that his security services are currently applying. This grip seems loose and falls short of the level of the president’s expectations. Any possible reiteration of this attack in other places in Cairo or even in other Egyptian cities will place the regime and its security services in a difficult position because they might lose the trust of all or most of the Egyptian people…


Author: Augaritte

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