Egypt general warns of coup threat
CAIRO — Egypt’s armed forces chief has warned the current political crisis “could lead to a collapse of the state”.
General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, in comments posted on the military’s Facebook page, said such a collapse could “threaten future generations”.
He made his statement following a large military deployment in three cities along the Suez Canal where a state of emergency has been declared.
More than 50 people have died in days of protests and violence.
Overnight, thousands of people in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez – where some of the worst unrest has been – ignored a night-time curfew to take to the streets.
General Sisi’s lengthy statement appears to be a veiled threat to protesters and opposition forces as well as an appeal for calm and an attempt to reassure Egyptians about the role of the military.
He said the economic, political and social challenges facing Egypt represented “a real threat to the security of Egypt and the cohesiveness of the Egyptian state”.
The military deployment along the Suez Canal was meant only to protect the key shipping route, one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign revenue, and described the army as “a pillar of the state’s foundations”, he added.
His comments were made in an address to army cadets which were subsequently posted on the military’s official Facebook page. (BBC)