Egypt steps up security ahead of 'revolution of poor'

Al-Sisi regime braces for protests amid mounting public anger over skyrocketing inflation, rampant unemployment

Egypt steps up security ahead of 'revolution of poor'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Egyptian security forces have deployed in the main squares of the capital and set up checkpoints around Greater Cairo in anticipation of Friday’s planned "revolution of the poor", a local security source said.

The source, who spoke anonymously due to restrictions on speaking to media, said police had set up checkpoints at the entrances of the urban Cairo, Giza and Qalioubiya provinces and along major thoroughfares, according to Egyptian press reports.

Security has also been stepped up at Cairo International Airport and in Tahrir Square (the epicenter of Egypt’s 2011 popular uprising) and Hisham Barakat Square (formerly known as Rabaa al-Adiwaya Square, the scene of 2013’s infamous "Rabaa massacre").

On Thursday, the authorities closed Cairo’s Sadat metro station, which leads to Tahrir Square.

Security has also been ratcheted up in the Sinai Peninsula, the northern half of which remains in a state of emergency following a spate of deadly attacks on security personnel.

On Monday, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi held a high-level meeting with security officials, including the ministers of defense and interior and intelligence chiefs.

Al-Sisi has called for "vigilance" ahead of Friday’s planned protests, which were called for by critics of the al-Sisi regime to protest skyrocketing inflation and rampant unemployment.

Addressing the public last month, al-Sisi -- a former army chief who ousted Egypt’s first freely-elected president in a 2013 military coup -- said the planned protests would fail.

In recent months, public anger has mounted in Egypt as basic commodity prices have continued to climb, with many blaming the al-Sisi regime for mishandling the economy.

Since 2011, Egypt has faced a crippling economic crisis caused mainly by acute hard-currency shortages in the local market and declines in tourism, foreign investment and exports, the result of ongoing political turmoil.

Last week, the Egyptian pound lost almost half of its value when the central bank devalued the local currency in an effort to rein in a flourishing black market for dollars.

Last Mod: 11 Kasım 2016, 13:28
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