Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Featured on Press TV News Analysis: ‘Sinai Attacks Hampers Gazans’ Border Crossing Freedom’
Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, featured on Press TV News Analysis program on August 14, 2012 discussing the political situation in the North African state of Egypt. President Morsi has retired top military leaders in the country., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
‘Sinai attacks hampers Gazans’ border crossing freedom’
To watch the Press TV News Analysis interview with editor of the Pan-African News Wire, Abayomi Azikiwe, just click on the website below:
Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:0AM GMT
On August 5th, masked gunmen attacked the Egyptian military posts in the Sinai Peninsula and killed sixteen Egyptian security forces and injured many others.
Following the deadly incident on August 11, the military forces of the Zionist regime occupied parts of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
While the Tel Aviv regime has called on the Egyptian authorities to deal with what it called ‘Terrorists,’ Hamas has accused Israel of planning and executing the terrorist attacks.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Dr. Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, from Detroit to further discuss the issue.
The show also offers the opinions of two additional guests: Journalist, writer and broadcaster Chris Bambery from London and Dina Zakaria, spokesperson for the Freedom and Justice Party from the Egyptian capital city of Cairo.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Mr. Azikiwe, the same time that we are hearing allegations against Israel, we are also hearing a lot in the Western media of people saying, accusing Israel as part of the conspiracy theory and Israel itself has been accusing Gaza and saying that the Palestinians are responsible for this. What is your take on what happened in Sinai Peninsula?
Azikiwe: Well I do not think that it would benefit the Palestinians in Gaza at all. What has happened is that it has escalated the tensions inside of the Sinai and prompted the new Egyptian government to institute new security measures in the region.
This of course will hamper the ability of the Palestinians in Gaza to move back and forth across the Rafah border crossing.
This is definitely not going to benefit the people who have been virtually under siege now for several years, the 1.5 million Palestinians who are living in virtually an open air prison in Palestine.
So I do not think that it is going to benefit the cause of the Palestinian people at all.
What it has done [is that] it has prompted a re-assertion of authority on the part of Dr. Mohammed Morsi, the new president of Egypt, who utilized this incident, where some 16 Egyptian security forces were reportedly killed, to reshuffle the top leadership within the Egyptian military.
It appears as if he is leaning more on the junior military officers to promote them to take on more responsibility in regard to the situation inside the Sinai area.
So I believe that it has strengthened the position of Dr. Morsi, but at the same time, it is going to lessen the ability of the Palestinians in Gaza to reach some type of a normal existence.
They have been under the very, very extreme conditions over the last several years. So I do not think that it is going to benefit the Palestinians; in the short-term it may have benefited the leadership in Egypt but it still remains to be seen who actually is behind these attacks.
Press TV: Mr. Azikiwe a lot of the media have described what Mohammed Morsi did as a kind of soft coup, so to speak, and that he is in a power struggle with the military, he is trying to extend his own powers.
Now would you also describe this as a coup by Morsi against the former military rulers or would you describe this, as some others have, as part of a deal actually between the two sides that includes issues like calls for the trial of those military rulers because of the crimes they have reportedly committed against people and other issues like that?
Azikiwe: It does have the appearance of a soft coup, because these military leaders, Tantawi and [General Sami] Annan, have been extremely powerful over the last year and a half in Egypt.
As you mentioned they have basically been running the government inside the country, so with their removal, it definitely opens up a lot of political space for the Freedom and Justice Party to institute its policies within Egypt. I believe that Dr. Morsi has to build a solid political powerbase inside Egypt in order to really restructure the society.
There is a lot of continuing contradictions, particularly those within the military with specific reference to the military’s links with the United States. These are very serious issues that have to be resolved by Dr. Morsi because if they are not, he will not be able to maintain security not only in the Sinai but in other areas of Egypt.
So I believe this tragic incident that occurred on August 5th that resulted in the death of these 16 security personnel, actually provided him with the opportunity to consolidate his powerbase within Egypt itself.
But there are still a lot of work that he has to do, because there are other forces within the army whose political identification and political loyalty still may not be solely with the Freedom and Justice Party. So still further work has to be done on the part of the Morsi government to consolidate their political base within the government itself.
Press TV: Mr. Azikiwe you referred to the military’s previous links with the United States and with Israel as well, do you think that this move that President Mohammed Morsi has made is a starting point for a change in that policy especially when it comes to the Palestinian cause?
Azikiwe: Well I am sure that the Palestinians are very anxious to see some fundamental change in regard to Egypt’s relationships to the United States as well as the state of Israel.
If this does not happen there is going to be a tremendous amount of discontent in Gaza as well as among a large section of the Egyptian population, because the anti-Israeli sentiment inside of Egypt, I believe, is very strong at this point.
So that is one point that the president is going to have to address very soon and that is the relationship, economic, political and military relationship, between Egypt and the state of Israel as well as the United States’ role in managing this peace treaty that has been in effect now for 32 years.