News / Middle East

Egypt's Morsi Orders Top Military Officers to Retire

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi swears in newly-appointed Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012.Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi swears in newly-appointed Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012.
x
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi swears in newly-appointed Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi swears in newly-appointed Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012.
Edward Yeranian
CAIRO — Egypt's new President Mohamed Morsi has forced out the country's top two military officers, announcing the immediate retirement of  Defense Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi and Army Chief of Staff Sami Annan. The move comes after growing tensions over military operations in the northern Sinai, following a recent attack by militants that killed 17 Egyptian soldiers. 
 
News that President Morsi had fired Defense Minister Tantawi and Army Chief of Staff Annan struck on a quiet summer afternoon as most Egyptians fasted for Ramadan.
 
The president's spokesman, Yasser Ali, announced replacements for the two top officers on state television. He said Morsi was also annulling constitutional amendments that gave military commanders sweeping powers.
 
  • The Egyptian military seized power in 1952.
  • Every leader for the past 60 years until President Mohamed Morsi has been part of the military.
  • The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ruled Egypt after Hosni Mubarak's ouster as president early last year until Mr. Morsi's election this June.
  • During that time, the military council approved a constitutional declaration granting its top commanders wide powers and scaled back presidential powers.
He said the president has named Mahmoud Mekki as his vice president, that he is ordering Defense Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi to retire, along with Army Chief of Staff Sami Annan.
 
Morsi was shown on state TV swearing in his new Defense Minister, Abdel Fattah al Sissi.
 
The new defense minister said he swears to protect the nation and its presidential system and to respect the constitution and the law, to defend the people's interests and the borders of the country.
 
It was not immediately clear if the president's decision would provoke a constitutional crisis. Field Marshall Tantawi and top generals of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces had given themselves powers before the presidential election that some analysts compared to a “check-and-balance” system.
 
The unexpected moves by the president came as tensions mounted between him and top officers of the armed forces council. Photos showed Mr. Morsi and Field Marshall Tantawi tense and unsmiling as they visited the Sinai in recent days, during a government military operation against Islamist militants.
 
Essam Elarian, the head of President Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party, said Egyptians have been “dreaming of a fair democratic system for more than 60 years.” The Egyptian military seized power in 1952 and every leader until Morsi has belonged to it.
 
Defense Minister Tantawi was named to the post by former President Hosni Mubarak in 1991. A former US ambassador to Egypt once described him as “Mubarak's poodle,” according to a document leaked by the website Wikileaks.
 
It was not immediately clear how the Egyptian army would react to the president's decision to relieve the top commanders, or if the country's top court might attempt to reverse the decisions.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: J B from: USA
August 14, 2012 4:50 PM
Effectively the Hindis have supplanted one repulsive system of what they call a democracy with an even more repellent hindi style rule... Indians... what a joke

would you like some curry with your dimmmokrrrracyyyy siiiiirrrrr??? (shaking head side to side)


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 13, 2012 7:39 AM
The die is cash; the stage is set. The action is about to start. Morsi is about to unleash himself on Egyptians. Now we are going to find out the stuff he's made of. This action was expected, but not too soon, just not as soon as it came. Goes to show how urgent Morsi wants to return Egypt to the days of the Shah and Nebukadnedzar. Next will be the issuance of a decree. What to expect in that decree? Watch and see. I can only reveal that it won't look different from what obtains in Iran and the Arab world - and the motto: Arab Spring devaluation of human rights.


by: Rahimi from: Kabul/Afghanistan
August 13, 2012 5:30 AM
i would like to congratulate this victory to all Ugandan people. Basically, the victory and proud of this gold medal goes to all Ugandan nation.


by: Mahmoud Heshla from: Egypt
August 13, 2012 2:53 AM
Millions are in the streets of Egypt supporting president Morsi's decision , Here is Egypt back to civil government again as it was 60 years ago .


by: Malek Towghi/Tauqee from: USA
August 12, 2012 8:30 PM
It will be easier for historians and Egyptian people to give credit or discredit for pluses or minuses if there is only one ruling institution. The Sunni Islamists of Egypt now have a chance to demonstrate -- through a radical reinterpretation of the Quran & the Sunnah -- that their political Islam is compatible not only to the unchanging realities of our world -- the existence of Israel being one --but also to the unspoken aspirations of the suffering Muslim masses. During the 23 years of Muhammad's 'missionary' life CHANGEs did happen in the Quran and his Sunnah (unfortunately from good/ok to worse). Why not make this principle of POSSIBILITY /JUSTIFICATION of CHANGE -- and the principle of MASLAHAH of the society and RECOGNITION of 'URF as considered and done by some medieval fuqaha (jurists)-- the bases for the much-needed reconstruction of the Shari'ah??? Another point to be considered is the fact that the Sunni Shari'a in its details was 'canonized' centuries after Muhammad's death and was never practiced in totality by Muslims.

Personally, I am not so optimistic particularly thinking of the Sunni Islam. Yet, this is a stage the Muslim society has to pass before hoping for a Mass Rushdite Intellectual Revolution -- to call the humbug a humbug.

I hope my country, the US, and the ultra 'politically corrects' of the West will not again sabotage and frustrate this evolutionary process by allying themselves with the Sunni Islam for ephemeral gains (as they seem to be doing in Syria) or just out of ignorance and stupidity.


by: Sunita Chadry from: India
August 12, 2012 4:47 PM
effectively the Egyptians have supplanted one repulsive Military Dictator with an even more repellent Islamic Dictator... Arabs... what a joke

would you like some Humus with your dimookracy???


by: Mahmud Sulieman from: Egypt
August 12, 2012 4:17 PM
i don't know where this leads... but let me tell you that Egyptian are buying guns from Libya and Gaza. Terrorist groups move from the Sinai to Cairo and Alexandria with the blessings of Mursi and the Islamic Brotherhood - wake up America - this is not good


by: Dona Lynn Brown from: USA
August 12, 2012 3:25 PM
hey, haven't we seen it before...? remember Turkey used to be a westernized country... now its in the grip of Islamic forces that vilify western values to a point where it has become a Terrorist state just like Iran Lebanon Pakistan...
you want to know the future of Egypt - look to Hamas... Hizbolla... al Qaida... well, we have such an incompetent president... I guess the trend will continue

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid