On Wednesday morning, the media celebrated the mysterious return of seven Egyptian soldiers who were kidnapped in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Thursday. Faced with a difficult task and with media lights concentrated on the political, criminal, military and Sinaian horizons, President Mohamed Mursi’s performance was under test. It’s true that the Mursi administration ended up rescuing all of the abducted subjects, but did they pass the test?
After President Mohamed Mursi rushed to Cairo’s Almaza Airport, with his premier and interior and defense ministers, in an atmosphere of victory, he spoke of the importance of cooperation between the people and the authorities.
In his improvised speech, Mursi said that these recent events must be used as a model of wholeness, cooperation, good planning and strategic action, as well as putting national interest above all else.
Okay, what happened, then? How did cooperation between the army, police, government, tribal leaders and people end the crisis?
His speech included keys that failed to solve this riddle; for instance, he used phrases such as “accurate operation”, “this occasion” and “the battle that proves national unity with the authorities and the target”, as well as thanking army forces.
He did not explain what happened and refused to answer any questions after his speech.
The video that circulated the internet showed that the kidnappers were armed and that their demand was the release of a Sinai Jihadist named Hamada Abu Sheita.
According to Egypt’s state news agency, a high ranking security source said that the authorities preferred negotiation with the kidnappers, in light of cooperation with tribal elders, in order to ensure the hostages’ safe return.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s papers focused on the reinforcements which were sent to the border region in northern Sinai and the security raids that took place in Sheikh Zuwayed and Rafah.
As unconfirmed news that the military pressured the kidnappers and cordoned their location, forcing them to release the captives this morning, spread, there were no news of arrests, negotiations or agreements.
The president urged Egyptians to pay attention to the problems of Sinai while calling the peninsula’s residents to hand over all unlicensed weaponry.
The question remains; what happened? And what’s with all this mysteriousness?
Speculations are wide ranging and the confused wonderings are many, but this issue is very important; on one side, there is the standing of the state and its army and on the other, there is the question of how to deal with kidnappings and blackmails of this sort.
Such events are not witnessed often in Egypt. Maybe a lot in the region, but not in a country as civilized and rich as Egypt.
In addition to all of this, all parties were willing to conclude the issue, which ended without one drop of blood like the president said.
But let me ask you this: What about the state’s standing and not kneeling down to blackmail? Or what about doing what’s right regarding the political prisoners and taking a legal stand against the defendants who are accused of political crimes? Or what about the social justice that Egyptians asked for during the uprising and has not been achieved yet – especially with residents of outskirts?
Many questions must be answered regarding this matter and about Egypt in general.
The key, my friends, is justice.
Article by Saif Eldin Hamdan, Aswat Masriya.
This article was originally published here.