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Former Egyptian officers announce a new project for change

Egypt's national flag in Cairo on 20 April 2019 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]
Egypt's national flag in Cairo on 20 April 2019 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

A group of former officers in the Egyptian army, national forces and various societal groups revealed that they are in the process of formulating a new project for change in the country, calling on all Egyptians to "participate strongly in the protests that are expected to erupt on 11 November, coinciding with the 27th international climate change conference, COP27".

In its first statement, entitled "Freedom 1", which Arabi 21 published, the group clarified that it is in constant consultation, communication and cooperation with some of those it described as "loyal and honourable" in the various state agencies and institutions, in addition to some figures and national political forces inside and outside the country.

The group also revealed that the change project – which it is now working on finalising – is based on "the participation of everyone in building the desired future without the exclusion of anyone, through the formation of a presidential council that includes the civilian component first and the military component second, adding that this council is assisted by a complete presidential team."

The group, which refuses to reveal its identity at the moment, pointed out that it will announce the details of its comprehensive project for change soon (it did not specify a specific date), describing its attempts to bring about change as "serious, sincere and realistic".

The group is satisfied with defining itself at the moment, by saying, "We are a group of Egyptians. We have united our ranks, resolved, and we have chosen from among us people who have experience and the ability to lead the people to restore their homeland and their capabilities. We are an Egyptian group which has a comprehensive vision to build a civilised civil state, including the farmer, the labourer, the university professor, the economist and the politician, and among them also are honourable officers from the army and police, and judges who reject injustice and working against the law."

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"We have all sworn to enable the people to own their homeland and its capabilities, and to be the master in their homeland. The government is nothing but an agent that governs with a mandate from the people in accordance with the Constitution and the law," it added.

The group pledged to work on "writing a new constitution that guarantees the values ​​of Egyptian society, respects religions and public manners, and guarantees human rights in life, food, drink, education, health, residence, travel and expression of opinion."

It also said, "the ruling regime will not benefit anything from the measures it has taken or will take, by overthrowing some honourable and loyal people in state institutions and agencies or other practices that we anticipate. Whatever it does, its end has become inevitable for the first time."

On Tuesday, the French intelligence website, Africa Intelligence, revealed that 6 senior officers from the Egyptian intelligence service had submitted their resignations, due to the austerity policy led by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

The website said that the officers submitted their resignations on 23 October, following a meeting with Intelligence Chief, Abbas Kamel, at a time when voices are rising against Sisi's candidacy in the 2024 presidential elections.

The group leading this "remarkable move" also said, "There will be no more injustice or oppression after day, but rather, justice, equality and sacred rights recognised by the constitution, and protected by the authority under the eyes of the people."

The group's statement went on to say, "We will no longer be late to meet the needs of the masses who suffer from the plague of  the authority that has wreaked corruption, tyranny, injustice and oppression. We pledge to soon be next to our honourable people, and we will announce ourselves at the appropriate time, which we believe closer than they imagine."

"We appeal to our sons, brothers and colleagues from the armed forces, not to obey the orders of this regime if it issues its orders to implement the Israr 1, 2, 3, or 4 plan, as your safety is the safety of your people. The Egyptian army will no longer attack or hinder the will of the people, but it will always be a supporter and a fortress for our nation, our people, and the capabilities of our dear homeland," added the statement.

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It also said, "When orders are issued by the regime to implement the Israr plan to operate civil institutions in the event they stop working as a result of a comprehensive civil strike, we ask our sons and brothers in the armed forces who are tasked with implementing the plan not to obey the orders of this regime."

The statement added, "We also demand our sons in the 2nd Mechanised Infantry Division stationed at the Huckstep (Hussein Tantawi currently), the 9th Armoured Division stationed in the Dahshur region, the second Field Army forces stationed at Al-Galaa Camp in Ismailia and the third Field Army forces in Ajrud in the Suez Governorate, not to obey the regime's orders to suppress the demonstrators in Greater Cairo."

The group explained that its expected moves come "due to the state of the country and people at the hands of a failed repressive coup regime, and it is for the sake of the farmer whose life has become burdened with worries and debts, for the sake of the labourer who lost his factory, for the sake of the student who has become without hope for the future and for the sake of the employee who does not receive their rights."

It called for the need to "restore the status and functions of the army, police and judiciary as defined by the Constitution and the law in order to restore the prestige and dignity of a nation that was wasted by this failed, conspiring regime", stressing that it would "work hard to restore all the rights and capabilities of the homeland that this regime sold or conceded".

Egypt is witnessing a state of cautious anticipation due to the calls by Egyptian activists and opponents abroad and at home to organise large-scale protests on 11/11, amid noticeable tension in the performance of the ruling authority and its media, and a widespread security alert in Cairo and the various governorates.

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