President Morsi addresses Central Security Forces at Cairo headquarters

Ahram Online, Friday 15 Mar 2013

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi performs Friday prayers at Cairo Central Security Forces (CSF) headquarters in efforts to reach out to younger CSF ranks, amid police strikes


Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi visits the Cairo headquarters of Central Security Forces (CSF) on Friday, folllowing the removal of CSF head Maged Nouh last week and amid strikes by CSF soldiers and officers in several governorates.

President Morsi performed Friday noon prayers among hundreds of soldiers and officers at the CSF headquarters in the Cairo district of Darrasa, where he gave a brief opening speech saluting all police and military personnel upon his arrival.

"Beware, our outside enemy is seeking to create division among us, and we must not allow it," President Morsi said in his opening speech.

"Any obstacles you're facing, we will get through them – together," he stressed.

He continued: "You are the watchful eye of the homeland. The country's best interest needs your efforts and sacrifices."

"You all know that our Egypt is going through a critical period, but with the aid of God and cooperation of the police and military, we will be able to pass through this phase."

"You are the protectors of the country's inside and outside safety. The police were part of the succesful crossing of the Suez Canal in the 1973 war and also part of the January 25 Revolution," he added.

The initial demands of Egypt's 25 January uprising, intentionally organised on the same day as the annual police day, included an end to police brutality and the State Security apparatus run by the Mubarak regime.

Accompanied by Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, the president held meetings with the soldiers and officers after prayers.

Hundreds of police officers and soldiers in Cairo and in several Egyptian governorates went on strike on Wednesday, demanding an end of the perceived 'Brotherhoodisation' of the interior ministry and the dismissal of Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, who was appointed by President Morsi in January.

Police officers also demand to be armed in order to defend themselves from what they allegedly described as 'armed thugs.'

The strikes prompted Ibrahim to remove the CSF commander Major General Maged Nouh on Friday.

The country still suffers a security vacuum as critics say no serious police reforms have been thought out or implemented.

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