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article imageGeneral Sisi calls for rallies on Friday in support of military

By Ken Hanly     Jul 24, 2013 in Politics
Cairo - The chief of the Egyptian army, Abdel al-Sisi, has issued a call for rallies throughout Egypt this Friday to demonstrate a mandate for the Egyptian army to confront violence and terrorism since the coup that removed president Mohamed Morsi.
Egypt's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has called for nationwide rallies to give the military a mandate to confront what he termed violence and terrorism following the removal of President Mohamed Morsi: "I ask ... that next [upcoming] Friday all honest and trustworthy Egyptians must come out. Why come out? They come out to give me the mandate and order that I confront violence and potential terrorism."
The Tamarud movement, which was behind the enormous protests against Mursi before his ouster, supported the army’s call Friday’ rallies:“We call on the people to take to the streets on Friday to support their armed forces, which we support and are happy for it to play its role in confronting the violence and terrorism practiced by the Muslim Brotherhood,” The Tamarud movement and other groups encouraged the coup for weeks if not months before it happened. Many liberal groups want to ban Islamist parties from the upcoming elections.
Sisi says that he will continue following his political roadmap that should see the constitution amended and new elections within six months. While Sisi says his appeal for protests was not a call for violence, if Pro-Morsi demonstrators meet with the Pro-Military demonstrators there is bound to be violence. Sisi expressed support for efforts at national reconciliation.
The Muslim Brotherhood reaction was swift and negative. A senior member, Essal al-Erian, issued as statement: "Your threat will not prevent millions to rally against coup ... You have been always in your office conspiring." Sisi's speech ahead of "national reconciliation" sessions called by the interim leader Adly Mansour. The call comes after renewed violence killed at least three people. More than 100 people have been killed since the military coup on July 3.
The Muslim Brotherhood plans to boycott the reconciliation talks planned by Mansour. The second largest Islamist group in Egypt the Al Nour party also will not be attending the talks, even though it earlier had been part of a coalition that supported the coup. The Muslim Brotherhood says it rejected the reconciliation talks because Morsi was the legitimate president of Egypt.
Abdel Fotouh, who is affiliated with the Brotherhood, warned about the talks: "Military coup government failed to stop bloodshed and detains tens of peaceful protestors every day and besieges media and closes its channel. Which reconciliation are you calling for?"
More about General Sisi, Egypt military coup, conflict in Egypt
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