Egypt army calls for anti-violence protest

Egypt army calls for anti-violence protest
Wed Jul 24, 2013 18:47:37

The Egyptian army has urged people to hold demonstrations on Friday to condemn violence and terrorism.

On Wednesday, Army Chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi called on Egyptians to give the military a mandate to confront "violence and potential terrorism."

In a speech at a military graduation ceremony, which was broadcast on television, Gen al-Sisi said: "I urge the people to take to the streets this coming Friday to prove their will and give me, the army and police, a mandate to confront possible violence and terrorism."

"So that in case there was a resort to violence and terrorism, the army would have a mandate to confront this," he added.

He said it may be a sign of frustration that protests against the interim government are still going on.

In Cairo, two people were reported to have been killed in clashes at a pro-Morsi demonstration overnight. That followed nine deaths in the city on Tuesday.

Gen al-Sisi, who is also the defense minister in the new government, rejected rumors about divisions within the army ranks. "I swear by God that the Egyptian army is united," he said.

Referring to the army's intervention to remove Mohammad Morsi early this month, Gen al-Sisi said, "I urged the former president to be a president for all Egyptians."

And, recalling the 2012 presidential election when Morsi was voted into office, he said that he had advised Muslim Brotherhood not to field a presidential candidate - but that they had ignored him.

Al-Sisi said that he was not calling for public unrest and wanted national reconciliation. But the Muslim Brotherhood dismissed Gen Sisi's call as a "threat."

Essam el-Erian, deputy chairman of the Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said: "Your threat will not stop the millions from continuing to gather."

He called Gen Sisi "a coup leader who kills women, children and those at prayer."

On July 3, Egypt’s Army announced that president Mohamed Morsi was no longer in power. They also dissolved the Egyptian constitution.

The Chief Justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, Adli Mansour, was sworn in as interim president on July 4.

Since then, Egypt has been the scene of rival rallies and clashes between thousands of the supporters and opponents of Morsi.


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