Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi warns of instability after protest calls
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has warned against attempts to stoke instability in the country following a recent spate of scattered and small-scale anti-government demonstrations.
The protests come amid mounting anger, particularly in rural and low-income areas, against sweeping government campaigns to stop illegal construction, which have required people to pay fines to legalise home-ownership. During his speech on Sunday, el-Sisi thanked Egyptians for not heeding the calls, saying the government was undertaking the measures as part of reforms.
“Some people have been trying in recent weeks to take advantage of the tough measures we are taking,” el-Sisi said at a ceremony to inaugurate an oil refining complex north of Cairo.
Dozens of people took part in rare protests in recent days in several villages in Egypt, according to a video shared widely on social media, especially by sympathisers of the Muslim Brotherhood, an outlawed group.
Exiled businessman Mohamed Ali, who has been urging anti-el-Sisi protests since last year, has intensified his calls in recent weeks in online videos, calling on Egyptians to take to the streets against the government.
#Egypt’s public prosecutor has ordered the release of 68 children from the latest demonstrations. Human rights groups have said at least 400 people have been arrested in scattered anti-#Sisi protests nationwide numbering in the hundreds, with reports of 3 dead so far pic.twitter.com/yF0Y1Pr9Ln
“The minors’ parents committed to maintaining the safety and security of their children, promising that they would ensure the minors do not return to such acts of destruction in the future,” said the prosecutor in a statement circulated on social media.