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Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood announce new board for members abroad

Move comes after intense restructuring efforts within the group, and amid fears of a growing rift between youth and elder members
Younger members of the Muslim Brotherhood are thought to espouse more radical tactics for fighting Egypt's current government (AFP)

The Muslim Brotherhood announced on Monday the formation of a new board for Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members living abroad, in what can be seen as the fruits of a rigorous restructuring process.

“The group has elected a new board abroad…in pursuit of the goals of the 25th of January revolution - bread, freedom, social justice and human dignity,” said board member Ahmed Abdel Rahman in a statement published on Facebook.

The statement said the announcement comes as part of “the overall revision done by the Muslim Brotherhood and the restructuring of its institutions".

For several years, a deepening divide among reformist and revolutionary wings in the group has led to a drastic transformation in the Brotherhood’s decades-old approach to change.

The change lies in an upheaval of the hierarchy and a fundamental restructuring process that has seen the youth empowered into leadership roles, bringing along their more revolutionary approaches to challenging Egypt’s status quo.

“After more than a year and half of the coup, and with the many events that are happening within the Brotherhood, including calls for change, these elections have taken place to address internal and external issues,” a member of the board said on condition of anonymity.

“This new board will support the leadership in Egypt by taking responsibility for several important aspects of the struggle, including engagement on international, legal and human rights issues,” the board member told Middle East Eye.

The new board promises to bring about many changes, including a clearer strategy, the empowerment of youth and women, and providing a platform for the engagement of members, said the source.

“Instead of the small group of people who have [traditionally] been leading others to a place they do not know, this new board will be able bring about positive change in the right direction,” he added referring to the previous board, which was dominated by aging members of the group.

According to the source, the names of several members – all of whom are scattered across several countries - will be announced within the next few days. He also mentioned that many of the members are young.

Since the summer of 2013, a sharpening crackdown by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on the opposition has seen the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi from the presidency and the detention of thousands of the group’s supporters in state facilities.