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Morsi Announces Retirement of Two Top Generals
August 13, 2012

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The military rule of Egypt is officially over, as President Mohammed Morsi has announced the retirement of the country's top two generals, including Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. The head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces had effectively run the country since the abdication of Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.

Tantawi had been the de facto leader of the country and had attended several high-level meetings with high-ranking ministers from other countries. He had also been the spokesman for SCAF, which had issued all manner of decrees during the presidential and parliamentary election processes. A lifelong soldier and defense minister to Mubarak for 20 years, Tantawi leaves government at age 76.

Also retiring was Sami Enan, the military chief of staff. Both he and Tantawi will be advisers to Morsi but will have no official government role other than that.

General Sidki Sobhi is the new military chief of staff. The new defense minister is General Abdellatif Sisi.

Morsi also named his second vice-president, Mahmoud Mekky, a brother of Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky.

Morsi also rescinded SCAF's decree taking away many of the president's powers. The decree, just as the final round of presidential voting was taking place, called into question the president's ability to make many decisions on behalf of the country.

In the wake of a violent conflict in the Sinai desert that resulted in the deaths of 16 Egyptian border guards, Morsi replaced the country's intelligence chief and commanders of the Air Force and Navy and also reiterated his country's intention of keeping with the terms of its peace agreement with Israel.

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