News / Middle East

Egyptian Army Chief Urges Protests

In this image taken from Egypt State TV, Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi delivers a speech in Cairo, July 24, 2013.
In this image taken from Egypt State TV, Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi delivers a speech in Cairo, July 24, 2013.
Edward Yeranian
Egypt's Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has urged Egyptians to turn out Friday to denounce what he called "violence and terrorism," and to authorize the army and police to deal with it. He also insisted there is "no going back" on Egypt's political "road map" which he vowed would end in free and fair elections. 

Sissi received applause as he addressed a crowd of graduating cadets, insisting that his “conscience was clear” over his actions in Egypt's recent political upheaval. “The military,” he insisted, “takes orders only from the people.”

He said he warned Egypt's political and religious leaders, including ousted President Mohamed Morsi, over many months that the country was “heading into a dark tunnel,” and that a “solution” was needed to resolve the country's escalating crisis.

Sissi also stressed that the “political road map” calling for rewriting the constitution and holding fresh parliamentary and presidential elections would go ahead as planned, despite protests by the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters.

The defense minister said no one should think for one minute that he can ignore the road map, insisting that free and fair elections would be held and that international organizations would be free to monitor them. If any group, he said, believes it has a majority, it should run in the election.

According to Reuters Egypt's public prosecutor later ordered the arrest of Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and eight other senior members of the movement in a probe over accusations of inciting violence.  Badie and other Brotherhood figures have been detained before and subsequently released since July 3. The Brotherhood, which for decades existed largely underground before the fall of strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011, fears a broad crackdown.

As scattered violence rocked various parts of the country, Sissi asked Egyptians to hold rallies on Friday to demonstrate to the world that they support their military, as they did on June 30.

He said he has never asked anything of the Egyptian people, but that he is urging them to turn out on Friday to show the world what they have decided and to give the army and the police the authority to confront violence and terrorism.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Essam el-Erian told Qatar's Arabic-language al Jazeera TV that his group refuses any “army diktat,” and that it demands that elected President Mohamed Morsi be reinstated.

Mohamed Kamal, who is professor of political science at Cairo University, tells VOA that he thinks the army is trying to circumscribe further violence, but is being magnanimous by offering the Muslim Brotherhood a second chance to make their case with voters:

"It shows that the military is concerned about the escalation of violence, especially in Cairo, and wanted to put an end to this stalemate and it also shows [Sissi] wants to give the Brotherhood and their party a second chance in politics, which is rare. He wants them to run again in what he promised to be free and fair elections and that the people and the military will accept the result of this election," Kamal said.

Kamal points out that there is a “growing wave of anti-Muslim Brotherhood sentiment” in Egypt and that it would be “political suicide” for the group to continue to oppose the "new reality on the ground.”

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Antoine Mazerty
July 24, 2013 11:24 AM
This is the head of the armed military junta who dared to propagandize that there were "33 millions demonstrators according to CNN", that wonderful bogus and propagandist lie.

Obama and the US should be ashamed to fund this nauseous military junta but they aren't, being a major part of the world problems... Appalling and pathetic.
In Response

by: James from: UK
July 24, 2013 6:49 PM
you would think that Egypt would buy food,fuel and other neccesities before buying are hungry and on the streets, people are seek and general is buying arms
In Response

by: Chilean from: S. America
July 24, 2013 6:44 PM
general forgat to say that he overthroved democraticly elected govenment and president....that now Egypt will get another Pinochet like we did in Chile back in the day, and like Camobodia got Pol Plot and many others....nowadays Egypt, after one thousand years history, will become a banana republic without regards to basic fundamental human rights...good luck to Egypt and all other African and Arab nations ...people need to unite and witout unity there will be no progress.....that I think is the recept and dream of most autocratic leaders and some kings in the middle east and SE asia......war and suppresion of the people and democracy and that is why this general received billions from ''those other countries'' in the region to suppres his people

by: James from: USA
July 24, 2013 11:17 AM
When ever there is descent it is then labeled terrorism. I am not a supporter of the Morsi or his party, but the military wants a carte blanche to start shooting.

by: ali baba from: new york
July 24, 2013 10:54 AM
the army chief did the right thing to eliminate and remove moersi. he has to complete the job by remove the violent act by Muslim brotherhood by any means necessary
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
July 24, 2013 8:47 PM
in reply to Antoine. I guess that you can get some education to know the definition of democracy .Islam does not believe in democracy . and what moersi did in Egypt is clear definition of directorship. he want impose Islamic law. he hired all his staff from Muslim brotherhood. there was over 22 million sign to remove him. .and still want me to believe because democracy . it is foolish what you say
In Response

by: Antoine Mazerty
July 24, 2013 2:46 PM
This is obviously a military coup made by the people at the root cause of the country instability and year long sabotages, the sore losers of the democratic elections, the Mubarak dictatorship old guard and the military junta.
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
July 24, 2013 2:04 PM
agagin this is not a coup .it is necessary step to restore stability in the country
In Response

by: Antoine Mazerty
July 24, 2013 1:14 PM
You can't even spell Morsi correctly but we can be sure that you are informed enough to voice such an anti-democratic "opinion", cheering a decades-old military junta's coup deposing a freely and democratically president and putting down the constitution a majority of the people democratically voted for, that's -again- appalling and pathetic.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs