Minister of Defence and Military Production Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said, Monday, that the Egyptian army is the “true guarantor of the country’s security,” reaffirming the military’s role in the country’s ongoing democratic transition.
Al-Sisi, the commander-in-chief of the military, made his comments during a meeting with leaders and officers of the Armed Forces’ chemical warfare unit. “The Armed Forces are an integral part of this great people and are the basis of the national role that it performed in protecting and securing the polling stations during the constitutional referendum to instill the spirit of security and tranquility for Egyptians to vote and express their views freely,” he said.
The minister also stressed that the military should not have a political role. “The military institution with absolute impartiality only cares for the people of Egypt, and always takes their side,” said Al-Sisi, who also stressed the “importance of non-interference in political conflicts and practices, so as not to be a party against another,” adding that an impartial stance was taken in “awareness to the risk to national security and internal stability.”
He advocated political forces to unite in order to resolve the current crises, especially to overcome the “critical economic situation.”
The military helped provide security to polling stations across Egypt on 15 and 22 December during both stages of the constitutional referendum. President Mohamed Morsy gave military personnel authorisation to arrest civilians during those two days. Despite the president’s insistence that all those arrested by the military would face civilian trials, seven detainees in the Domietta governorate were referred to military prosecution this week, and could face military trials.