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Egypt takes extra precautions to prevent economic crisis sparking uprising

A bread seller walks in front of Al-Azhar Mosque in central Cairo on March 23, 2018. [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
A bread seller walks in front of Al-Azhar Mosque in central Cairo on March 23, 2018 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

The Egyptian regime is thought to be taking extra precautions to prevent an uprising as the economic crisis following the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to spiral.

Eighty per cent of Egypt's wheat imports are from Ukraine and Russia, which has pushed food prices up in a country that has lived for years through austerity measures and soaring living costs.

Egypt recently turned to the IMF for the third loan in six years, while one third of the population lives below the poverty line.

Sources have told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Egyptian security forces have agreed that the government must not make uncalculated decisions which could lead to an uprising on the streets.

The General Intelligence and National Security agencies have classified the current conditions as "dangerous and unstable."

Members of the press told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that they have been asked to focus on the fact that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has called for a national political dialogue.

For the first time since 2014 the Egyptian president called for a political dialogue among the country's political parties that includes opposition members, but not the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt: Fears grow for Alaa Abdelfattah as he reaches 45 days on hunger strike

Yesterday it was reported that Egypt appears to have postponed carrying out executions to quell international pressure to reform as it tries to maintain its grip over the country.

US President Joe Biden is set to visit Palestine at the end of June which could put even more pressure on Egypt to reform.

Earlier this year the US said it would cancel $130 million in military aid to Egypt because it had not made significant progress over human rights concerns.

However, the government has continued to arrest people including two freekeh farmers who allegedly "forged prices."

At the beginning of May the Egyptian government arrested three social media influencers and accused them of "spreading false news" after they broadcast a video mocking price rises in the country.

The government has imposed strict measures on wheat production, sales and consumption as the Russian invasion of Ukraine seriously disrupts supply.

A report by a risk consultancy last week predicted that rising fuel and food prices are set to stoke civil unrest in developing middle income countries, with Egypt among the countries set to take the hardest hit.

Rising food prices played a central role in the 2011 Egyptian uprising.

AfricaAsia & AmericasEgyptEurope & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineRussiaUkraineUS
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