Egypt: Conflict Insights
Egypt, the most populous Arab country with the largest Arab army, is a key regional power in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The country’s economy relies mainly on agriculture, tourism, oil and gas, Suez Canal revenues, remittances from Egyptians working abroad, and foreign aid. After Egypt’s formal independence from British protectorate status in 1922, military officer Gamal Abdel Nasser led a coup in 1952 forcing King Farouk from power and established the Arab Republic of Egypt In 2011, inspired by the uprising that toppled Tunisian President Ben Ali, Egyptians staged massive anti-government protests that led to Mubarak’s ouster. The military then became responsible for national leadership until a new parliament was established in early 2012. In 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood, led by Mohamed Morsi, won the presidential elections in Egypt’s first truly competitive election. A year later, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi removed Morsi from office and reversed the brief democratic opening through a massive crackdown against the Brotherhood and other political forces. Since becoming president in 2014, al-Sisi has reinforced his power against opponents and tightly restricted civil liberties. In April 2019, the constitution was amended to enable al-Sisi to remain in office until 2030 and significantly boost his and the military’s powers. Al-Sisi’s heavy-handed security approach in the Sinai has harmed civilians by severely restricting civil liberties, detaining thousands of people and displacing many from their homes, but has not eradicated the estimated 1,000-2,000 Sinaibased insurgents. Analysts warn that al-Sisi’s overall counterterrorism strategy based on repression will not succeed in the long-term. In order to prevent radicalization, the government needs to address socioeconomic and political marginalization and put a halt to indiscriminate repression. The purpose of this report is to provide analysis and policy implications to assist the African Union (AU), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Member States and Development Partners in decision-making and in the implementation of peace and security related instruments.