As tensions mount in Egypt after the deaths, this morning, of at least forty-two of the Muslim Brotherhood in confrontation with the military, the violence associated with Egyptian politics makes settlement elusive.
The unrest is also feeding a cycle of violence and recrimination that obscures the routes and contours of the ‘Roadmap’ to presidential and parliamentary elections.
Over the past three days, protests by the disenfranchised Muslim brotherhood have increased in fervour.
President Adly Mansour has failed to press home the nomination of Mohamed El Baradei as Prime Minister under pressure from the Salafist Al Nour party – which has since withdrawn from the transitional process. Suspected Islamic extremists in Northern Sinai have attacked an airport, the oil pipeline to Jordan and military personnel.
Protests have occurred beyond the metropolitan sprawl of Cairo and Alexandria in the turbulent Sinai and areas loyal to Morsi. The key route to the international airport has been blocked at least once by protesters from who the army has had to wrest control.
A previous update mentioned three core tasks for the interim government – the establishment of public order, the recruitment of the moderate rump of political Islamists to the road map proposed by the Army and the Transitional Government and the recovery of a sustainable economy.
It is apparent that the first two mutually-dependant legs of the tripod are beginning to topple putting the country at risk of rupture and the region into further instability over the future of political Islam within a democratic framework.
Whilst some of the rhetoric from the aggrieved Muslim brotherhood continues to espouse peaceful protest, the Freedom and Justice Party has called for an ‘uprising’ against those who stole their revolution with tanks.
With political reconciliation or accommodation seemingly more elusive than it was a week ago more protests, agitation and casualties as well as the blocking of key routes and facilities are to be expected.