Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt's Crisis Intensifies: Tribes Threaten to Attack Suez Canal if Mubarak Does Not Step Down

Bedouin tribesman have reportedly taken control of two towns in the Sinai Peninsula. These two towns are the closest to the Gaza Strip and right next to the border with Israel. There were reports yesterday that Bedouin tribes had besieged a police station in Suez and it appears that these riots have spread. This would effectively end the Mubarak dictatorship’s control of the region. There are no reports of the Egyptian military stepping in here.

The more disturbing news is a threat that has been made by the tribes if Mubarak does not step down. According to one report coming from Time Magazine, they are willing to attack the Suez Canal if Mubarak does not leave. The Suez Canal currently is where a third of the world’s oil and six percent of all products passes through. A seizure of the Canal could spike oil prices beyond the current $90 level, perhaps over $110. This could come to pass despite the fact that Egypt is not a major oil producer.