Neighborhoods Organizing Local Militias Following Egypt Unrest

With the diminishing hold of the Egyptian police and military over the country's peace and order, neighborhoods in Cairo have started organizing local militias and defense squads to guard their homes from thieves and looters.

The widespread demonstrations, including the looting and stealing of business establishments in the country's capital, pressed the able-bodied men to take to their own arms the protection of their families, houses and businesses. Makeshift weapons are used, ranging from big sticks, gasoline canisters to homemade Molotov cocktails. These local militias and defense squads have also set up their own checkpoints on main roads to check passing cars.

The weekend following the street protests, there have been reports of thefts, looting and trespassing in various neighborhoods, especially upscale gated residential areas. Due to Egypt's political tension, the presence of the Egyptian police and military has become less felt.

The country's widespread uprising followed after demonstrators took to the streets the call for the resignation of the decades-long President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak has ruled Egypt with an iron fist for almost thirty years.

Over the last week of January, protesters have gathered in the nation's important cities Cairo and Alexandria, also demanding for economic and political reforms in the poverty-stricken nation. The demonstrations have also resulted in the breakdown of peace, order and state authority.

The widespread uprising also continued over the weekend as protesters defied curfew because of their disapproval of President Hosni Mubarak's firing of the whole Cabinet and the subsequent appointment of the new prime minister and vice president. Speculations have also been raised that the political unrest could still continue for another week, if the President is still adamant on holding on to power.

Prior to the demonstrations in Egypt, anti-government movements have also forced out the leaders of Tunisia, Yemen and Lebanon.