Security forces dispersed limited pro-Morsi protests on Monday morning in Egypt's second largest city of Alexandria on the fifth anniversary of the 25 January uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Tens of Morsi supporters, mainly women, chanted against the police and army in four different districts; Al-Raml, Al-Amereya, Borg Al-Arab, and Al-Montazah. They also demanded the release of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, as well as other members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, who are standing trial on various criminal charges.
The rest of Alexandria’s streets remained calm and mostly empty as many stayed home after authorities warned for days that the 25 January anniversary may witness violent protests.
Meanwhile back in the capital Cairo, a small crowd of government supporters celebrated National Police Day, which falls on the same day as the outbreak of the uprising against Mubarak five years ago.
Government supporters chanted pro-police and army slogans, and handed flowers to police personnel stationed in the Square.
Elsewhere around Egypt, small pro-Morsi protests, as well as small pro-government crowds took to the streets in some cities, but the situation remains calm by-and-large.
In recent weeks authorities have said they feared the outbreak of violent protests on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the uprising, deploying tens of thousands of security personnel to secure vital institutions across the country.
On 25 January 2011, which was the country’s national Police Day, Thousands of Egyptians took to the streets to protest the police’s oppressive policies and brutality under Mubarak’s rule, in what developed into a mass movement within days, bringing down the long-time autocrat 18 days later.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been banned and labeled a terrorist organisation following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.