Last Update 14:53
Meet General El-Sisi, Egypt's defence minister
Little-known General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi makes history as Egypt's first armed forces chief to be appointed by a civilian president and the country's first middle-ranking defence minister
Zeinab El Gundy , Monday 13 Aug 2012
Share/Bookmark
Views: 8769
El Sisi
General El Sisi swearing in last Sunday (Photo:Reuters)

Since 1991, Egypt's one-time de facto ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi has been the country's minister of defence. For more than twenty years, Tantawi, known for his loyalty to former president Hosni Mubarak, was the "face" of Egypt's famously closed armed forces.

Following Mubarak's ouster, it was Tantawi, as head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), who assumed full control over the country.

As Egypt elected its new president in June 2011, Tantawi protected his coveted position as defence minister, head of the military council and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, in an unpopular military-authored addendum to Egypt's Constitutional Declaration.   

However, on 12 August 2012 Egypt's first civilian president, Mohamed Morsi, shocked the nation by cancelling the constitutional document, sending the aging military leader into early retirement and appointing a new minister of defence, General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

El-Sisi swore an oath in front of the president on Sunday, propelling the little-known general and military intelligence head into the spotlight as the new commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Notably El-Sisi is Egypt's first defence minister not to hold the top rank of Field Marshal.

Despite being part of the military council since February last year, Egypt's new army chief has kept a relatively low profile.

El-Sisi was born on 19 November 1954, reportedly making him the youngest member of SCAF at just 57 years old.  He graduated from Egypt's military academy in 1977 becoming an army officer serving in the infantry corps.

El-Sisi held various leading posts in the army including commander of Egypt's Mechanized Infantry Battalion and the head of information and security at the General Secretariat of the Defence Ministry.

He also served as the Egyptian military attaché in Saudi Arabia, following Tantawi's career path: Tantawi served as a military attaché in Pakistan for several years.

Among other notable appointments, El-Sisi was made chief of staff of the Northern Military Zone (located in Alexandria) and then commander of the Northern Military Zone before being promoted to head of military intelligence.

Media-shy El-Sisi sparked national and international uproar when he publically admitted that members of the army had subjected female protesters, arrested during the infamous March 2011 clashes on Tahrir Square, to forced "virginity tests."

In an April press statement intended to defend the behaviour of the armed forces, the military spy chief admitted that "the virginity test procedure was done to protect the girls from rape as well to protect the soldiers and officers from rape accusations."

El-Sisi then went on to promise human rights group Amnesty International, during an organised meeting in Cairo in June, that the army would no longer carry out the controversial forced tests.          

The relatively youthful age of Egypt's new defence minister is seen to give him an edge over Egypt's previous military commanders-in-chief such as 76-year-old Tantawi or 84-year-old Mubarak.

El-Sisi is also the first defence minister in Egyptian history to be appointed by a democratically elected head of state.

Following El-Sisi's appointment, accusations originally propagated by controversial anti-revolutionary talk show host Tawfik Okasha in June that he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood or "their man in SCAF" were again leveled at the general. Rumours have also spread that his wife wears the niqab (full face veil).

However, the SCAF released a short statement denying these claims and insisting that its members have no partisan or ideological affiliation to any political powers in Egypt.





Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 4000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
13



Jochair
28-01-2014 08:00pm
1-
0+
no more war, no more extremism
Morsi would have embroiled Egypt in war with Israel, and no Egyptian wants that. general El Sisi seems to be more clear-headed and will keep Egypt safe and out of war
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
12



Talal A Halbouni
21-01-2014 09:14am
1-
1+
Break the lines
Dear General El Sisi, Take care the brotherhood is playing their last chance on the 25th of January through breaking the lines by using the youth. Talal A Halbouni
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Tom
27-01-2014 03:40pm
1-
1+
addition to be ruled by dictator
In my view, the extremism of MB was excessively egaggerated just in order to bring back the old guards. libneral and leftist people were once again deceived by military plan
11



Talal A Halbouni
17-01-2014 08:33pm
0-
1+
General El Sisi you belong to Egypt.
Dear , General El Sisi , your personal safety belongs from now on to the Egyptian people does not belong to yourself any more pls take good care where you go what you say until you become the next president . Than you can take Egypt up with you then your limit will be the sky. Talal A Halbouni
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
10



Talal. A. Halbouni .
10-01-2014 12:19pm
0-
1+
Comments on Oussama Kemal.
Dear ,General El Sisi ,I am one of your admirer my comments to general Shafik yesterday talk shaw with Oussama Kemal is simply that general Shafik deep in himself ihe want to be elected as president of Egypt, I think that he is trying to sell himself to his viewers by solving the economic crises his way . B.O.T .as he did with the Airports and Egyptair . Witch means that Egypt will be in dept for the next 50 year or so .Ithink that eng. Mamdouh Hamza solv it by giving all the projects needed for Egypt to the army so they can execute with lawer coast and promptly .Tala .A. Halbouni.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
9



Talal. A. Halbouni .
10-01-2014 12:19pm
0-
0+
Comments on Oussama Kemal.
Dear ,General El Sisi ,I am one of your admirer my comments to general Shafik yesterday talk shaw with Oussama Kemal is simply that general Shafik deep in himself ihe want to be elected as president of Egypt, I think that he is trying to sell himself to his viewers by solving the economic crises his way . B.O.T .as he did with the Airports and Egyptair . Witch means that Egypt will be in dept for the next 50 year or so .Ithink that eng. Mamdouh Hamza solv it by giving all the projects needed for Egypt to the army so they can execute with lawer coast and promptly .Tala .A. Halbouni.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
8



Sandy
15-08-2012 02:04am
1-
4+
what is the relationship between education and wearing a bikini?
As far as I know, a woman's brain exists in her head
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
7



Karim Dad Chughtai
14-08-2012 12:39pm
5-
6+
Long live Egyptian Democracy, Long live Mursi
President Mursi came of his age and expectations. What Turkey's Erdogan achieved in 12 years, Mursi has done in in 1 month and 12 days. This is a lesson for Pakistan's weakened civilian government. We hope one day Mursi will visit Pakistan where he is too much popular followed only by Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
ali
15-08-2012 02:35am
3-
3+
not fair comparison
you have to understand why erdogan took 8 years because he was facing an army who hanged elected PMs twice and orchestrated coup 4 times in 50 years. The Turkish army were corrupt from top to bottom and were all zionist whereas egyptian army were sincere muslim all across and only top echelons were corrupt. so it easy for morsi to replace them with ideal people as middle officers supported morsi. Erdogan does appears to be load but beneath there is a political genuis within him.
6



Karim Dad Chughtai
14-08-2012 10:30am
3-
1+
Long live Egyptian Democracy, Long live Mursi
President Mursi came of his age and expectations. What Turkey's Erdogan achieved in 12 years, Mursi has done in in 1 month and 12 days. This is a lesson for Pakistan's weakened civilian government. We hope one day Mursi will visit Pakistan where he is too much popular followed only by Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
5



Ahmed Abul Majd
13-08-2012 11:18pm
1-
13+
Have the secularists lost their minds?
Does the wife of an army officer have to wear a a bikini in order qualify him for a certificate of good conduct? Have the secularists lost their minds?
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Haidar
14-08-2012 10:46am
3-
2+
These are International Standards
Yes If she wear bikni ..she is educated, Liberal , tolerance etc...Scarf or Niqab is become symbol of Identity for Muslim Women , mentioned in Quran ..so we should proud of it ...Dogs always bark ..dont care
4



Rwigyema
13-08-2012 09:49pm
2-
4+
it,s good
In Rwanda we need a such revolution .we,re fed up with self proclaimed chef of state
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment

© 2010 Ahram Online. Advertising