The Cabinet has ordered that two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo be dispersed and has authorized the police to use whatever force necessary to do this.
In a televised statement the Cabinet said that the continuation of the sit-ins represents a threat to national security that is “no longer acceptable.”
In its statement the Cabinet said that the decision was based on the “mandate” given to the state to fight terrorism and violence during mass demonstrations last Friday days after military commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for a mandate from the public.
Interior Ministry spokesperson Hany Abdel Latif said today that the Cabinet statement on the dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins authorizes the police to put an end to the threats posed by the Nahda and Rabea sit-ins and does not call for their dispersal as the first step.
Abdel Latif told Mada Masr that, “the Cabinet statement requires that the Interior Ministry take the necessary measures and procedures to counter these sit-ins and take into account the consequences of dispersing the sit-ins right away.”
“We know that there are many types of weapons in these sit-ins,” he said, “and we know that it is not only Brotherhood leaders inside these sit-ins. We are taking into account that there are people there who Brotherhood leaders are using as human shields. We intend to take care of these individuals until the end.”
Abdel-Latif explained that a plan will be put in place whereby the sit-ins will initially be surrounded and food will be prevented from being brought in. Protesters will then be given time to leave the sit-ins and force will be used only as a last step.
[This article originally appeared on Mada Masr.]