Egypt’s Sissi names new armed forces chief of staff
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Egypt’s Sissi names new armed forces chief of staff

No reasons given for change of top soldier, seen as a major shift in the military establishment

Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, president of Egypt, addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, September 19, 2017 in New York city.(Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)
Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, president of Egypt, addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, September 19, 2017 in New York city.(Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

CAIRO, EGYPT — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi has named a new armed forces chief of staff, the presidency said in a brief statement on Saturday.

He appointed former defense ministry secretary general Mohammed Farid Hegazy to the post, it said, without giving a reason for the change.

Outgoing Egyptian Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy (Courtesy/ Egyptian Ministry of Defense)

His predecessor Mahmoud Hegazy, who had held the post since March 2014, was named a presidential adviser.

Linked to Sissi through the marriage of their respective children, Mahmoud Hegazy recently returned from Washington where military chiefs had gathered to discuss fighting “terrorism”.

Mohammed Farid Hegazy’s appointment is a major change in the military establishment.

Sissi came to power after the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, for whom he had served as defense minister.

The country’s armed forces have since faced an Islamist insurgency including by the Islamic State group, with hundreds of policemen and soldiers killed.

The insurgency is concentrated on North Sinai province, although IS has also extended its presence to southern Egypt and the Nile Delta, north of the capital.

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