n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - Al-Qaeda in Egypt : North-Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2014, Issue 02
  • ISSN :


The standoff between Egypt's military and its Islamist foes grew increasingly dangerous during late-2013 and early-2014. The government's designation of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) as a "terrorist organisation" on 25 December 2013, further dimmed the prospects for a peaceful negotiated political settlement between the military and backers of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. Six months after the , Egypt's democratic transition has clearly taken a step in reverse toward authoritarian military-rule. As the Freedom and Justice Party (the Egyptian MB's political wing) continues to receive support from millions of Islamists, these Egyptians are expected to view any future government as illegitimate if it wins an election in which the MB was banned from participating. A prolonged stalemate appears likely, given the resilience of the MB followers who continue to hold public demonstrations in the face of an oppressive crackdown on dissent. Unquestionably, this standoff poses risks for policymakers and economic stakeholders in Egypt, and throughout the region, given the potential for violence to escalate. In the meantime, a growing al-Qaeda presence takes form in Egypt, which further dims prospects for any political settlement.

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