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Army will not tolerate 'political militias': Egyptian military source

Prosecutor-general's statements inviting public to make citizen's arrests opens door to 'private militias' and 'civil war,' military source tells Ahram Online

Ahmed Eleiba , Monday 11 Mar 2013
Tanks are positioned in front of the presidential palace in Cairo
Army tanks are positioned in front of the presidential palace in Cairo in December, 2012 (Photo: AP)
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A military source who spoke to Ahram Online on Monday slammed recent statements by the office of Egypt's prosecutor-general in which the latter gave the green light to members of the public to make citizen's arrests of anyone found committing acts of vandalism.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the move would open the door to the formation of "private militias" and raise the spectre of "civil war."

The military source supported his assertions by pointing to the reaction to the statement by Islamist groups, some of whom quickly announced plans to set up 'popular committees' to replace striking police officers.

"This policy crosses the state's red lines...the armed forces will not accept anything that threatens national security," he said.

"Egypt's armed forces don't stand on the side of any political faction, but that's not an excuse for certain groups to begin forming militias," he added.

The source went on to warn that such a step "could prompt the military to intervene."

In a Sunday statement, the prosecutor-general's office urged members of the public "to exercise the right afforded them by Article 37 of Egypt's criminal procedure law to arrest anyone found committing a crime and refer them to official personnel."

The statement came within the context of an ongoing strike by Egyptian police officers that began last Tuesday. Police personnel in several Egyptian governorates – including Cairo and Alexandria – have since joined the strike to demand the dismissal of the interior minister and a halt to what they see as their being used as pawns in the country's ongoing political stalemate.

Meanwhile, Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Construction and Development Party announced plans this week to establish 'security committees' in several Upper Egyptian cities to replace police in the event that the strikes persist.   

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Ingy Sammakia
12-03-2013 05:27pm
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Military Rule
Military rule is better than a Militia rule that the MB's want to pull. They are shooting people left right and center.A Militia is a dangerous situation for Egypt. The Army will send the Brotherhood back underground, because of their criminal activities.
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6



Ahmed
12-03-2013 04:28pm
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selfish generals
What does military expect people to do when the police refraining from doing their duty? the fact is that the military doesn't like to see the people taking care of their bushiness by themselves, military want to keep the people hostages in their hands. the military doesn't care about people safety, it didn't release any statement when the Black Block was declared with a clear aim of making chaos.
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5



Hamad
12-03-2013 12:33pm
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Thank God for Morsi
Egypt has the best ever president. May Allah saves Egypt from the its enemies.
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John Andrews
12-03-2013 01:42am
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Indeed, what has the military done about the so-called Black Bloc?
I agree with Ali... if the military, or anyone for that matter, is so strongly against citizens arrest for potential militia abuse of that right that the army may do something about it, why have they not moved a finger with the country being torn apart by the clearly armed and well-trained Black Bloc militias given political cover by the likes of the National Salvation Front?
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3



M.S
12-03-2013 01:39am
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The same military
isn'that the same military that has conducted the virginity tests?. Have we forgotten the girl in the blue bra that made worldwide publicity for their human treatment?. only fools repeat the same mistakes. this generation of military has not fought any wars, they live on assumed privileges and handouts from the USA.
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2



Ali
11-03-2013 09:05pm
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Black Blog
I hope the military takes Black Block in it`s consideration too.
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1



Roslyn
11-03-2013 05:41pm
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Thank God for the Military
Thank God for the wisdom of the Military, this is why some are calling for Military rule!....wisdom, experience and professionalism with the welfare and security of Egypt top of their agenda!
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ali
12-03-2013 04:40am
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morsi should move fast
i hope the military understand that the islamist have been very patient will all the previous regime provocations. military should look at syrian military getting destroyed by islamist when it came to the crunch. i suppose islamist are getting ready for inevitable and will never ever back down. morsi should form paramilitary police immediately because feloul regime are getting desparate anr working against natiinal security
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