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

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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 arms....kids 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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.