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Interior Minister out

Unexpected cabinet shuffle resulted in Ibrahim being replaced by former NSA head

Mohamed Ibrahim, Former Minister of Interior (AFP File Photo)
Mohamed Ibrahim, Former Minister of Interior
(AFP File Photo)

A Thursday cabinet shuffle saw an unexpected change in the top security agency in the country, the Ministry of Interior, in which Mohamed Ibrahim was replaced by former head of the National Security Agency, Magdy Abdel Ghaffar.

Ibrahim took office as minister in January 2013, when ousted president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi appointed him to replace Ahmed Gamal Eddin.

The controversial minister held place under two different regimes, three different presidents and three prime ministers, despite several calls for his dismissal since the Muslim Brotherhood era, and deteriorating security conditions.

Radical Islamist Salafi factions called in May 2013 on then-president Morsi to fire Ibrahim on the grounds of a dispute about allowing police officers to grow beards.

This small dispute that represented efforts from Islamists to exert their ideological influence faded into the new reality that followed the army’s ouster of the Brotherhood government.

After 3 July, 2013, with then-defence minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi rising to power, Ibrahim maintained his position despite calls from his own ministry to dismiss him.

Hundreds of policemen protested in February 2014 against the lack of protection from the ministry to its officials, as several policemen and officers were killed in drive-by shootings since the start of 2014.

Political parties that represent varying perspectives towards the state and the army-backed regime also called for Ibrahim’s dismissal on different occasions.

The National Movement Party called for Ibrahim’s dismissal from his position in September 2014, following a series of attacks that left policemen and officers killed, holding Ibrahim responsible for failing to protect them.

The latest in the wave of criticism against the former minister came after the fourth anniversary of the 25 January Revolution saw violence across the country that left scores of civilians killed.

The Socialist Popular Alliance called for Ibrahim’s dismissal after policemen shot one of its members at a small protest on 24 January 2015.

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