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Another bloodbath in Cairo: but where are the British government?

January 23, 2014 at 7:11 am

This morning the world woke to a third massacre in Egypt.

Twitter was flooded with photographs of bodies, bandages wrapped around their corpses, soaked with blood. At midday an eyewitness in Nasr City told MEMO he could hear machine gun fire every five minutes, and that the stench of tear gas hung in the air.

This is the bloody aftermath of an attempt by Egyptian authorities to clear pro-Morsi supporters this morning; thousands of his backers have been camped out in Nahda Square and Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque for days, demanding the reinstatement of their democratically elected leader.

At around 7am this morning, Egyptian authorities rolled into these demonstrations with bulldozers, armed vehicles, helicopters and tear gas. Media reports and witnesses described snipers, blazing cars and security forces rounding up the demonstrators who were trying to escape.

Back in England Alistair Burt at the Foreign Office offered the following Tweet: “#Egypt: Deeply concerned at events continuing today in #Cairo leading to deaths and injury. Restraint and dialogue more urgent than ever.” Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was “deeply concerned at the escalating violence in Egypt and condemns the use of force in clearing protests.”

Such nonchalant remarks sum up the British attitude towards events in Cairo over the past month or so. Tacit, non-committal and topped with a general belief that words speak louder than actions under the current, abhorrent situation.

Since Morsi was ousted by the Egyptian army on the 3rd July, the British government has sidestepped the issue of whether or not to publicly label his downfall a military coup. Rather than choosing to support democracy, they have given cover to the actions of the military.

That a third massacre in the space of one month has been allowed to take place raises terrifying questions about the future of Egypt, the people that live there and what could happen next. This is not the end; the consequences for the country, and the Muslim Brotherhood, are unimaginable.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.