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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776
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Egypt Running Out of Fuel – Army Threatens to Intervene

Egypt has enough diesel fuel to last eight days, butane enough for ten days and petrol enough for 14 days.
Clashes in Egypt

Clashes in Egypt
Photo Credit: Missing Peace

First published in Missing Peace Turkish news agency Anadulo, citing Egypt’s oil minister Sherif Haddara, yesterday reported that Egypt will exhaust strategic oil reserves by the end of June.

According to Haddara, Egypt has enough diesel fuel to last eight days, butane enough for ten days and petrol enough for 14 days.

The news agency stated that the government was currently providing the nation’s gas stations with 18,000 tons of octane per day and 37,000 tons of diesel fuel, while also providing the country’s power stations with 23,000 tons of low-quality mazut fuel.

In recent weeks and months, Egypt has seen a spate of intermittent power blackouts, which government officials have attributed to chronic fuel shortages.

The situation in Egypt is rapidly spinning out of control. Last weekend two men were shot dead during clashes between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and opponents of the regime.

Secular oppositions groups have announced that on June 30th mass demonstrations will resume in order to force the current Islamist government out of power. The Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies reacted this weekend by staging a massive rally in support of president Mursi.

David Goldman an analyst for The Middle East Forum wrote in his analysis for the Asian Times that Egypt is dying and cannot be fixed anymore.

Here are some excerpts from his article:

“No-one has proposed a way to find the more than US$20 billion a year that Egypt requires to stay afloat. In June 2011, then French president Nicholas Sarkozy talked about a Group of Eight support program of that order of magnitude. No Western (or Gulf State) government, though, is willing to pour that sort of money down an Egyptian sinkhole.

Egypt remains a pre-modern society, with nearly 50% illiteracy, a 30% rate of consanguineal marriage, a 90% rate of female genital mutilation, and an un- or underemployment rate over 40%”

Today the commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi, threatened that the army would not stay on the sidelines while the country is slipping into darkness. He warned that Egypt could descend into a civil war.

Sissi pointed out that “the armed forces had avoided being drawn into the political arena, but that its national, historic and moral responsibility to the people makes it imperative that it intervenes to stop Egypt slipping into a dark tunnel of conflict, internal fighting, exchanging accusations of treason and criminality, sectarian sedition, and the collapse of institutions.”

He warned against the dangers of division within the political arena following last Friday’s demonstrations in support of President Mursi.

He said: “It is important to have harmony among all parties, and those who think this situation is good for the country are mistaken. It harms the country and threatens Egyptian national security.”

To make things worse the situation in Sinai is also deteriorating. The newspaper Egypt Daily News painted a grim picture of the situation in the Sinai Peninsula.

“The situation in Sinai is just shockingly bad,” said Amr Hamzawy, an opposition politician and former MP. “We have both a security crisis and a development crisis there and we’ve had them for a long time.”

The stakes for Sinai’s drift toward chaos are high. The peninsula’s eographic position makes it vitally important not only to regional stability but to the global economy as well. The recent rise of Islamist militant groups in Sinai—its vast unsecured spaces are fertile ground for both recruitment and training—has led to fears of a fanatical armed enclave directly bordering both Israel and the Gaza Strip, according to Egypt Daily News

Some protesters in Cairo have now set up tents at the Defense Ministry and demand that Morsi hands over power to the army.

Missing Peace

About the Author: Missing Peace is an initiative of ex-members from the Israel Facts Monitor group in Israel, a group mainly consisting of Dutch immigrants; members of WAAR (a Dutch monitor organization) and Israeli Middle East- and media experts. Missing Peace aims to improve the supply of reliable information and to influence opinions about the Middle East in Europe.


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