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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid