Egypt unlikely to turn into 'militia's state' despite increasing violence: analysts

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-2-12 9:32:35

Although Egypt's youth groups and political movements are increasingly adopting violent approaches to express their demands, it is unlikely that Egypt would fall to the hands of militia, political analysts said.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim recently said that several groups are creating chaos in the streets with "unprecedented violent acts," which already left two policemen killed and hundreds injured in the clashes.

"If the police system collapses, Egypt will turn into a militia 's state," the minister warned.

Many analysts, however, consider it a slim chance that the country should fall into the hands of militia.

Even under much worse security situation when the police institution collapsed in the early days of the Egyptian unrest in 2011, the country did not witness the rise of militia, said Nabil Fouad, professor of Strategic Sciences at Cairo University.

A group of protesters, masked and dressed in black from head to toe, appeared in January in the capital of Cairo and other provinces, calling themselves the "Black Bloc." Using slogans such as "Chaos against injustice," they vowed to "defend the revolution. "

On their Facebook page, the group criticized the Muslim Brotherhood to which President Mohamed Morsi is affiliated and threatened to break into the presidential palace on Monday "if the president and the Muslim Brotherhood do not leave."

Although the group described their actions as "the beginning of civil disobedience," members of the Black Bloc have been accused of engaging in sabotage in recent demonstrations.

Egypt's prosecutor general has ordered to arrest all the group members as investigations pointed to "terrorist crimes."

Fouad told Xinhua that the emergence of "Black Bloc" was due to the state of confusion and political instability. He noted that Egyptian youths may have copied the tactic of "black bloc," which features black clothing during protests and marches, but Egyptian Black Bloc has no contact with foreign groups and has not received any foreign funding.

The concept of militia is a group that adopts certain thoughts, with an armed organizational structure, which is not the case with the Black Bloc, Fouad noted.

"Weapons are spreading due to worsening security conditions, but there is no existence of militia," said Fouad.

It is a matter of time before groups like Black Bloc vanish in Egypt's political scene, most likely when stability is restored following the upcoming parliamentary elections, Fouad predicted.

According to Sameh Seif el-Yazal, security and strategic expert, the Black Bloc is evolved from "local groups" that appeared after Egypt's upheaval to protect the streets and houses against thugs in the absence of security forces.

As long as the environment is suitable for such groups to grow and spread, they would exert their influence as important pressure groups, similar to the case of Ultras groups, but not as militia, said Yazal.

Yazal added that the armed forces are more than capable of controlling the situation, deeming the Black Bloc statement to break into the presidential Palace as "talks of teenagers."

Security expert Mohamed Abdel Fatah said the activities of the Black Bloc are limited in demonstrations.

"What happened in the streets is vandalism, which was just to press the government for their demands," said Fatah. "But their capabilities are not enough to build militia."

He added that "militia wouldn't work in Egypt" because the Egyptians aren't violent by nature.

Meantime, some political forces accuse the Muslim Brotherhood for forming their own militia, citing that some pro-Brotherhood groups attacked peaceful protesters outside the presidential palace last December.

Fouad, however, believed that the Muslim Brotherhood cannot keep their militia without creating a problem with the armed forces.

Posted in: Africa

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