Egypt retires 70 army generals

Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi meets with Defence Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on 22 August Defence Minister Abdul Fattah al-Sisi (left) announced the changes to Egypt's army leadership

Seventy generals in the Egyptian armed forces are to be retired, the government has announced.

The move comes weeks after President Mohammed Mursi replaced the defence minister and the chief of staff.

However, six of the generals will keep their positions on the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf).

Some analysts say Mr Mursi is asserting his authority over the army. There has so far been little adverse reaction from the military establishment.

Defence Minister Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who was appointed in President Mursi's military reshuffle last month, announced the changes.

Power struggle

In August, Mr Mursi had replaced Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi with Gen Sisi as both armed forces chief and defence minister.

Gen Tantawi's number two, Gen Sami Enan, was also replaced.

Both men were prominent members of Scaf, the military body that ran Egypt after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak after mass protests in February 2011.

In July, Scaf formally handed over power to Mr Mursi, Egypt's first ever democratically elected president.

At the same time as the reshuffle, Mr Mursi issued a decree voiding an interim constitutional declaration from June that gave Scaf broad executive and legislative powers.

However, it was also announced that Field Marshal Tantawi and Gen Enan would stay on as advisers to Mr Mursi.

Some analysts have suggested that at least some members of the Scaf must have been consulted in advance of such important changes to the military hierarchy.

Generals Mohamed Assar, Mukhtar el-Mullah, Mahmoud Nasr, Fouad Abdel Hay, Mohamed Emara, and Mamdouh Shahin, will keep their membership of Scaf.

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