15 January 2020

 

Predictions

  • President will use Muslim Brotherhood endorsement of critics to undermine calls for anti-government protests marking 2011 uprising
  • Any anti-government demonstrations on 25 January will be small-scale, restricted to major cities and easily dispersed by security forces
  • Jihadists will seek to intensify operations during anniversary of uprising in order to undermine al-Sisi, but increased security will limit risk of attacks

 

Analysis

Former military contractor Mohamed Ali renewed his call for protests to mark the anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian uprising in a video published online on 9 January. In the video he taunted President al-Sisi, calling on him to join demonstrators on 25 January and saying he would be a “coward” if he failed to do so. Separately, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Ibrahim Munir endorsed on 1 January the “Egyptian Accord”, a document publicised by Ali that sets out a political framework for Egypt stressing greater political and media freedoms and specifically calling for al-Sisi’s overthrow. Ali has said the document, released last year, was drawn up in collaboration with opposition politicians living in exile.

Ali achieved prominence in September when his accusations of corruption levelled at al-Sisi and his supporters in the Army prompted rare protests in Cairo and a number of other cities. The allegations resonated with lower-income Egyptians who have been most affected by IMF-mandated reforms, including the removal of subsidies on bread and fuel, that have increased the cost of living. Al-Sisi has since responded by intensifying a security crackdown

Egypt, Cairo: Thousands of protesters at Tahrir Square, Cairo, on Nov 22, 2011

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