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

Afghanistan, Pakistan Leaders to Hold Icebreaking Talks in Paris

Two sides are expected to discuss ways to ease bilateral tensions and jointly work for resumption of stalled peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban officials

Corruption Busting Is Her Game

South African activist is building 'international online community of thousands of corruption fighters'

Former SAF Businessman Gives Books, Love of Reading to Students

Steve Tsakaris now involved in nonprofit Read to Rise, which distributes books in Soweto, encourages lower-grade primary school students to read

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.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs