News / Middle East

Egypt's Army Takes Power

Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delivers a statement as the army unveils a roadmap for Egypt's political future, July 3, 2013. (AFP/Egyptian TV)
Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delivers a statement as the army unveils a roadmap for Egypt's political future, July 3, 2013. (AFP/Egyptian TV)
Diaa Bekheet
Egypt's army took power from President Mohamed Morsi and suspended the constitution. Army tanks are surrounding the presidential palace, and Morsi's whereabouts are unknown.

The head of the constitutional court will be sworn in to run the county's affairs, form a technocrat government, and call for early elections, the Army chief said.

In a live televised statement, Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the action was taken to resolve the political crisis in Egypt.

Al-Sisi said the move had to be taken after Morsi refused the military's unlimatum to reach an agreement with Egypt's opposition.

The Army chief read the statement as the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the head of Egypt's Coptic Church and opposition leader Mohamed Elbaradei looked on.

Earlier in the day, a senior aide to Morsi called on Egyptians to peacefully resist what he described as "a military coup" underway.

In Washington, the State Department voiced concern about unrest in Egypt. But it said the situation remains fluid and it can not confirm that a "military coup" is underway.

In a statement issued hours before the deadline, Morsi proposed a consensus government and an independent committee to craft constitutional amendments as a way out of the crisis. But he also repeated he has no intention to step down, warning his electoral legitimacy is the only safeguard against instability.

The army's announcement could spark a violent showdown between the military and suporters of the Islamist president.

Now reportedly barred from travel, Morsi was Egypt's first freely elected civilian president since a group of army officers called "The Free Officers" toppled King Farouk on July 23, 1952.

Mohamed Morsi

  • Removed from power on July 3, 2013 after massive protests
  • Elected president in June, 2012-Led the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party
  • Elected to parliament in 2005
  • Received a PhD from University of Southern California in 1982
  • Born in Sharqiya in the Nile Delta in 1951
Last year, Morsi pushed aside top military leaders of deposed president Hosni Mubarak, including the head of the Supreme Military Council and ther army's chief of staff.  

In a speech late Tuesday night, Morsi defended his legitimacy and vowed to remain in office, even if it resulted in his death. He also demanded the military withdraw its threat to intervene in the country's political crisis.

The country's Islamist government and military leadership have been each warning they are ready to shed blood in order to protect the nation.

It's not clear what the army move will lead to. At least dozens people have been killed this week in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi.
 
Morsi was imprisoned by the deposed president Hosni Mubarak who is now serving a life sentence in prison for complicity in the killing of hundreds of anti-government protesters during last year's 18-day uprising that forced him to resign on February 11.


  • A supporter of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi chants slogans during a rally near Cairo University after Friday prayers in Cairo, Egypt, July 5, 2013. 
  • Opponents of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi wave national flags and posters showing Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Tahrir Square, Cairo, July 5, 2013. 
  • Palestinian Hamas security guard stands near an Egyptian watch tower on the border with Egypt in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, July 5, 2013. An Egyptian official said the country's border crossing with Gaza Strip in northern Sinai has been closed indefinitely.
  • Protesters, who support former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, perform Friday prayers near Cairo University in Cairo, July 5, 2013. 
  • A supporter of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi holds up a copy of the Koran as she and others march near Cairo University after Friday prayers in Cairo, July 5, 2013. 
  • A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi cries during a protest near the University of Cairo, Giza, July 5, 2013.
  • Adly Mansour gestures at his swearing in ceremony as the nation's interim president in Cairo, July 4, 2013.
  • This image made from Egyptian State Television shows Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour, center, standing with judges during a swearing in ceremony at the constitutional court in Cairo, July 4, 2013.
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi show victory signs during a rally, in Nasser City, Cairo, July 4, 2013.
  • An Egyptian Army commander talks to citizens while securing the area near Cairo University, where Muslim Brotherhood supporters gathered to support ousted president Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, July 4, 2013.
  • Egyptians celebrate after Egypt's chief justice Adly Mansour is sworn in as the nation's interim president, July 4, 2013. Arabic reads, " bye bye Morsi."
  • Egyptian military jets fly over Cairo as the head of Egypt's constitutional court Adly Mansour was sworn in as interim head of state, July 4, 2013.
  • Opponents of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi celebrate outside the presidential palace in Cairo, July 3, 2013.
  • Fireworks light the sky moments after Egypt's military chief said the president was being replaced by the chief justice of the constitutional court, Cairo, July 3, 2013.
  • Morsi supporters react after the Egyptian army's statement was read out on state TV, at the Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Cairo, July 3, 2013.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid