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Sisi seeks mandate to confront violence

Updated: 2013-07-25 10:01
( Agencies/China Daily)

Egypt's military chief called for mass rallies on Friday to give him a mandate to tackle violence that has surged following the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, raising the pressure on the Muslim Brotherhood.

General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who deposed Morsi on July 3 and installed an interim administration in the wake of huge street protests, said on Wednesday he did not want more bloodshed and urged national reconciliation after the upheavals.

But Morsi's Brotherhood, which accuses Sisi of leading a military coup, said the call for nationwide demonstrations amounted to a threat to his opponents, with one of the group's leaders warning it could lead to civil war.

Sisi seeks mandate to confront violence

Speaking after days of sporadic street clashes, that have left more than 100 dead, Sisi said ordinary Egyptians should rally to strengthen the hand of the army and police.

"I request that all Egyptians next Friday ... go down (into the street) to give me a mandate and an order to confront possible violence and terrorism," he told a military graduation ceremony in remarks broadcast live by state media.

Crowds on the streets have played a crucial role in Egypt's faltering transition to democracy, triggering the downfall of US-backed strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011, forcing concessions from the generals who took power from him, and then rallying on June 30 to denounce Morsi's troubled first year in office.

Since the fall of Mubarak as the Arab Spring revolutions took hold more than two years ago, the Arab world's most populous nation has remained in turmoil, arousing concern amongst allies in the West and in neighboring Israel, with which Egypt has had a peace treaty since 1979.


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