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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid