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Egypt: the United States froze military aid before the trial of Mohamed Morsi

November 2 category:Africa
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Egypt: the United States froze military aid before the trial of Mohamed Morsi

The United States announced the reduction of aid to Egypt until there is no "credible progress towards a democratically elected civilian government" and that the army will continue to be able to suppress his opponents.


After months of delay, the United States officially Wednesday froze part of their aid to Egypt in retaliation for the repression of supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, whose trial for "incitement to murder" s' will open on 4 November.

More heavy equipment or financial assistance

The "recalibration" of US aid - $ 1.5 billion including $ 1.3 billion in military aid each year - involves stopping the supply of heavy plant and its financial assistance to the government "pending credible progress towards a democratically elected civilian government, "said Wednesday the spokesman of the State Department, Jennifer Psaki.

Since 3 July with the removal of President Mohamed Morsi and repression that followed, the Obama administration was under pressure to reduce aid paid each year in Cairo. In mid-August, Washington had already canceled joint military exercises with Egypt and postponed the delivery of four combat aircraft F-16 to the Egyptian army. The United States has never qualified the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi of "coup," which would have legally compelled to end their help, but they condemned a crackdown "regrettable", called for the release of former president and called for the lifting of the state of emergency and democratic elections in 2014.

Among the materials that will not be delivered to the Egyptian army, include Apache helicopters, F-16 Harpoon missiles or tanks pieces A1 / M1 Abrams, US officials have said. This gel, however, is not intended to be permanent, they said, without giving exact figures on the amount of aid frozen, merely point out that these arms were worth "hundreds of millions of dollars."

Fear new tensions before Morsi trial

The decision - announced late Wednesday afternoon in Washington - was presented by the US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the new strong man of Egypt since the removal of Mohamed Morsi, during a phone call about forty minutes, described by US officials as "very friendly". However, it has elicited no reaction from Cairo immediately.

In Egypt, the announcement by the official MENA news agency that the trial of Mohamed Morsi, accused of "incitement to murder" of protesters, would open on November 4 raised fears of new tensions. The former president will appear before a court in the Cairo district along with 14 other people for the death of protesters on December 5, 2012. Dismissed and arrested by the army on July 3 after huge demonstrations demanding his departure, the former President is accused of "inciting his followers to commit premeditated murder" during clashes outside the presidential palace in Cairo, according to Mena.

The trial of Mohamed Morsi, held incommunicado since his dismissal could stoke anger of his supporters, in a context of strong tensions: clashes between the Islamist forces and residents have 57 dead Sunday on the sidelines demonstrations demanding the return of the first democratically elected president in Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood continues to call for protests

Since the dismissal of Mohamed Morsi, the authorities installed by the army launched a relentless crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood, which reached its climax on 14 August, when the army and police have dispersed into a bloodbath two camps pro -Morsi. Since then, more than a thousand people were killed and more than 2,000 Islamists arrested, including almost all the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose "activities" were banned on September 23 by the court, which also ordered confiscation of their property.

After Sunday's clashes, several attacks have targeted earlier this week the police and the army, causing ten deaths among the security forces. On Wednesday, a bomb damaged a disused building of the army in the Sinai Peninsula.

Mohamed Morsi, who led the country for a year marked by sharp divisions within the population, will be the second Egyptian president to appear in court for the killing of protesters. His predecessor Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years, is on trial for "complicity in murder" of protesters during the revolt that toppled in 2011.

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