Egypt: Sisi vows to fight terrorism

2014-03-27 12:21
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (AP)

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday he had quit the military to run for president and vowed to rid the country of "terrorism" almost nine months after he toppled its elected leader.

Sisi, who was also defence minister, faces no serious competition in the election - likely before June - and is expected to win comfortably, riding on a wave of popularity for his law and order message.

But the Muslim Brotherhood movement of president Mohammed Morsi, whom Sisi toppled in July, warned there could be no stability in Egypt under the "shadow" of his leadership.

The Brotherhood and its allies have kept up their protests against the overthrow of Egypt's only freely elected president against a backdrop of mounting violence by militant groups that has killed scores of police and troops.

Sisi declared his widely anticipated candidacy in a televised address to the nation.

"Today, I stand before you for the last time in a military uniform, after deciding to end my service as defence minister and commander of the armed forces," he said, dressed in his field marshal's uniform and sitting behind a desk.

"With all modesty, I nominate myself for the presidency of Egypt."

Sisi's candidacy is likely to be welcomed by the millions of Egyptians who are weary of more than three years of turmoil since the Arab Spring overthrow of veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak.

But it is likely to further inflame Islamist protests and worry those secular activists who fear a return to rule by military men and the strong-arm tactics of the Mubarak era.

Aside from Morsi, whose year in office deeply polarised the country, every Egyptian president has been drawn from, or installed by, the army.

For those Egyptians who want an end to the unrest that has scared off investors and tourists, dealing a heavy blow to the economy, Sisi's military background is an asset.

The army is seen as the country's most stable institution and Sisi can count on further aid from friendly Gulf states, who have pumped billions of dollars into Egypt since Morsi's ouster.

 'Egypt free of terrorism'

"The economic, political, social and security realities in Egypt... have reached the point where they must be tackled with strength and courage," Sisi said.

"I will continue to fight every day for an Egypt free of terrorism."

Sisi reached out a little to his opponents but signalled no let-up in the crackdown launched by the military-installed interim government on Morsi's supporters that has seen hundreds killed and thousands arrested.

"All Egyptians who have not been condemned by the law... will be active partners in the future," he said.

Sisi's suitability for the presidency was rejected outright by the Muslim Brotherhood.

"He led a coup to become president. He is a man who has killed daily since the coup," Ibrahim Munir, a member of the Brotherhood's political bureau, told AFP by telephone from London.

Just hours before Sisi's address, clashes between Morsi's student supporters and police killed one protester at a Cairo campus.

In southern Egypt, prosecutors referred more than 900 suspected Islamists to trial, two days after a court sentenced 529 to death for deadly rioting.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a statement issued while visiting Jordan, urged Egypt to overturn those death sentences, warning they sent a "negative message" around the world.

Kerry said he was "deeply troubled by the sudden and unprecedented decision" to issue the sentences, adding "it simply defies logic".

Morsi himself, detained on his ouster on 3 July, faces several trials along with much of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership.

Sisi is believed to have been the real power behind interim president Adly Mansour, under whom police killed hundreds of Islamist protesters and detained about 15 000 suspects.

Many Egyptians, deeply disillusioned by the Islamist Morsi's single year in power, have supported the crackdown in the hope of stability. Millions had rallied across the country demanding Morsi's overthrow before the military stepped in.

In Cairo's Tahrir Square, the nerve centre of the 2011 uprising that unseated Mubarak, a passerby said he was delighted with Sisi's candidacy.

"We need a man like him for the country now," said Ahmed Ali, an engineer.
Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  abdel fattah al-sisi  |  egypt  |  north africa  |  egypt crisis
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

upply Chain Manager

Western Cape
ZIMCO Group (PTY) Ltd
R30 000 - R40 000 Per Month

Restaurant Manager

Western Cape
SET Recruitment Consultants
R20 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Accountant - Cape Town

Western Cape
Quantum Recruitment

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.