World News: Egypt’s State of Emergency


Mekayla Phan, Features Editor

After the Palm Sunday terrorist attacks on Coptic churches in Tanta and Alexandria, Egypt has declared itself in a state of emergency. The two separate suicide bombings, which the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for, killed 49 people and injured over 100 churchgoers. This event has been one of the most deadly attacks against Christians Egypt has seen in decades.

Church funeral for the victims on Monday causes many women to cry and pray

The ISIS group have been targeting a lot of Copts as of late, threatening more attacks in the future. Due to the  Coptic Christians making up only about 10% of Egypt’s population, the onslaught has further initiated people to more strongly protect the minority group.

In response to the serious assaults, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declared a nationwide three-day mourning period. Because of his understanding of how difficult the uphill  battle with the jihadists will be, President Sisi also  declared a three-month state of emergency, which the parliament immediately supported. Once in effect, the emergency measures will allow security forces to search homes and arrest people without warrants. It also grants the president a broader range of powers in overseeing communications and media outlets, as well as implementing restrictions.  According to Human Rights Watch, thousands of suspects have already been taken in with reports of security forces committing abuse and torture. However, despite the need for the Egyptian Parliament to approve of the emergency action first, the rulers have long been imposing their own orders in the society. The state of emergency is just made to express the situation at hand and elicit cooperation.

On the Friday before the attacks, Sisi was returning from his visit to the United States where he meet with President Donald Trump on their mutual agreement to fight terrorists. Mr. Trump said he was willing to overlook Egypt’s unconventional methods as fair means against ISIS and protecting the country’s minority group of Christians.  Although on the following Sunday, Sisi rushed to action after the blasts even when he had already deployed troops weeks before to safeguard their churches for a planned visit by Pope Francis. Sources say that Pope Francis is scheduled to visit later in April.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stands and holds a moment of silence for those killed

The church bombings on one of the most holiest days on the calendar has caused  Egypt a lot of grief and deep regret. However, the country has pledged itself to remain strong and continue its war on terrorists.

(Sources: BBC news, New York Times, Al Jaazera)