General Hassan El-Roweiny
Major General Hassan El-Roweiny formally resigned from Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) late Tuesday, in the wake of sweeping governmental and military reshuffles made days earlier by President Mohamed Morsi.
El-Roweiny, who has become the sixth member of the SCAF's old guard to leave his post, did not provide reasons for his abrupt departure. "I tendered my resignation for personal reasons," he told Egypt's ONA news agency.
The high-ranking El-Roweiny had been the commander of Egypt's Central Military Zone. He had been responsible for the deployment of Egyptian troops in the streets during last year's Tahrir Square uprising, when Egyptian police forces staged a nationwide withdrawal following deadly clashes with anti-regime protesters.
After former president Hosni Mubarak's ouster, El-Roweiny became a hated figure in the eyes of many revolutionaries, following a series of violent clashes between military forces and demonstrators that resulted in the death of dozens of the latter.
The SCAF was the body that assumed executive power following Mubarak's ouster, which it retained until Morsi's 30 June inauguration.
On Sunday, Morsi cancelled a SCAF-issued 17 June constitutional addendum and amended a SCAF-issued 30 March 2011 Constitutional Declaration, giving him full executive and legislative authority.
No sooner had Morsi obtained these powers than he issued a decision to retire Hussein Tantawi, long-serving minister of defence and general commander of the armed forces, and Army Chief-of-Staff Sami Anan.
Morsi also, however, awarded both men state medals and appointed them both as presidential advisors.
Morsi also retired on Sunday the commanders of Egypt's air forces, Reda Hafez; naval forces, Mohab Memish; and air-defence forces, Abdel Aziz Seif El-Din. He appointed the first two to civilian posts, while Seif El-Din was not granted a new position.
Later, on Tuesday, the president appointed Major General Abdel Moneim Ibrahim as commander of Egypt's air-defence forces, Brigade Admiral Osama Ahmed El-Gendy as navy commander, and Major General Younes Hamed as air force commander.
It is widely believed that the SCAF's power has been significantly diminished by Morsi's raft of recent decisions.