It still sounds surreal. Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president for more than three decades, and his interior minister Habib al-Adly, have been sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to kill protesters in January 2011. Elation for friends and relatives of more than 800 people killed in last year's uprising, and a huge sigh of relief for those who feared fresh riots if Mubarak walked free.
But is it a triumph for Egypt? Not really. Not only because four of Adly's aides were acquitted, along with Mubarak's sons Gamal and Alaa'. Everything that's happened over the past six months is a somber reminder of the resilience of the remnants of Mubarak's regime.
Remember, real power in Egypt still rests with the opaque Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, stuffed with Mubarak's appointees (see here for SCAF's profile), who have blocked a transfer of power to civilian authorities. And another of Mubarak's former minister, Ahmed Shafiq, just won 24% in the first round of Egypt's presidential election (or more than 5 million votes).
In this sense, Mubarak's trial was just a sideshow. The fight for Egypt is still wide open.
Photo by GPO/Getty Images.
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