Friday, 2 May 2014

Algerian social media users lash out at Egypt's candidate's threats of invasion

Algerian social media users have lashed out at "invasion" comments made by Egyptian presidential candidate Abd-al-Fattah al-Sisi. 
Privately-owned mass circulation Algerian newspaper El-Khabar website reported on 30 April that during a meeting with Egyptian university chiefs, the former field marshal said: "The Egyptian army is strong and before anything happens to anyone in the west [in North Africa, west of Egypt], the army will be there. This is a warning to the Free [Egyptian] Army, if anything happens. I would be able to enter Algeria in three days if anything happened to any [Egyptian] individual."

"Not strange" of Al-Sisi to insult Algeria  

Al-Sisi' remarks, made on 30 April, were quickly picked up by Algerian media and elicited great anger among Algerian social media users.
 On Twitter, Algerian user @karimane80 tweeted in Arabic that "Al-Sisi slaughtered his people and burnt them, he sold his religion and military honour so it is not strange that he should insult Algeria. This is the greatest sign of his failure and that his end is near and his project and those that are with him and behind him". 
Another Algerian user quipped in Arabic "The pimp Al-Sisi said that he could invade Algeria in three days but it will be [popular Egyptian actresses] Ilham Shahin and Nadya Ilwi who will invade or the army that had killed children at [the Muslim Brotherhood's main protest strongholds of] Rabi'ah [al-Adawiya Mosque and Square]". 
Algerian @SpecialOne_Dz tweeted in Arabic: "To Al-Sisi… Algeria is not Rabi'ah [al-Adawiyah] square for you to invade in three days, as you are calling for, you criminal".
@SenouciAyache said in Arabic: "Poor Algeria… Even Al-Sisi is after it." (, while Algerian @anwarmalek tweeted: "It is said that Al-Sisi announced his army's willingness to defend Algeria and others against 'terrorism'; I say, as an Algerian, that 'being defended by an army that slaughtered its own people is not an honour'".

"Algerians just want to fight"

Egyptians were largely dismissive of the reports, with users such as @TheSecular tweeting in Arabic: "Algerians just want to fight. Algerian newspapers have reported that Al-Sisi said he would invade Algeria because of the terrorists. What stupidity and craziness! Anyway they [the terrorists] are all in Libya.".
Al-Sisi's campaign team was quick to deny the reports, issuing a statement published in Egyptian newspaper Al-Shuruq on 2 May. According to the report, Al-Sisi had simply said that the Egyptian army was capable of defending Egypt's borders and was willing to assist other Arab countries in the fight against Islamic extremism.

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