CSF conscripts on mutiny

by , under Blog

Central Security Forces in Obour are now on mutiny, following the the death of one of their colleagues, reportedly tortured by an officer. The conscripts have stormed the gates of their camp, and cut the Cairo – Ismailia road. In the video above, they are even chanting a famous UWK anti-police song!

There are reports also that army units have been sent to crush the mutiny, but I can’t confirm any, though it’s expected.

This is not the first time such mutiny occurs following the outbreak of the revolution. Several mutinies occurred on the Friday of Anger 28 January 2011. On the following day, the guy next to me in Muhammad Mahmoud Street while marching on the interior ministry was a CSF conscript who escaped from his camp and joined the protesters. Repeated mutinies were reported in Cairo, Alexandria and elsewhere over the course of the following months, over ill treatment from the officers, long working hours, bad food.

The CSF is the interior ministry’s army, and its central arm in crushing street dissent. Those conscripts are poorly paid, poorly fed, tortured, and made to do the state’s most dirty job. The last time they went on a full scale mutiny was in 1986, crushed brutally by Mubarak who sent in the army.

Even if Tantawi manages to crush this rebellion and prevent it from spreading, the objective conditions for another 1986-style mass scale mutiny are still there. Those new waves of conscripts are not just the sons of poor peasants and workers, who have no love for their officers, but also we are going through a revolution in case you forgot. And those new conscripts have seen it, and could well have participated in it prior to their conscription.

The interior ministry will not be able to restructure its CSF. There is not the political will; the current police generals who belong to Habib el-Adly’s clique are more than happy to see the status of their army of slaves remains unchanged. SCAF’s generals too would love to see Mubarak’s CSF revived in full force and take charge of crushing protests instead of having to involve the military police.

I wholeheartedly support the CSF mutiny, and I have no doubt that we will be seeing similar acts in the army barracks in the future.