Egypt's military marches in: Army issues all parties 48-hour ultimatum to reach resolution
The Egyptian Armed Forces have issued a 48 hour ultimatum to all Egyptian forces to reach a resolution or face military “road map” that “will not exclude anyone.”
The statement came after mass nationwide protests demanding the ouster of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi.
Opposition leader Hamdeen Sabbahi called on Sunday for military intervention if Mursi refused to step down.
“The armed forces must act, because they have always been on the side of the people” which "has expressed its will", said Sabbahi, a candidate in the previous presidential elections.
On Sunday, the armed forces said the number of protesters was “unprecedented” and army helicopters flew overhead in Cairo and Alexandria and sometimes dropping Egyptian flags on protesters.
A military source told Al Arabiya yesterday that Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was closely monitoring the situation.
A week before the June 30 rallies, Sissi threatened an intervention if there was bloodshed.
Sissi said the powerful military will not allow “attack on the will of the people” and urged Egyptians to seek consensus.
“The armed forces have the obligation to intervene to stop Egypt from plunging into a dark tunnel of conflict and infighting,” the army chief warned on the eve of the first anniversary of President Mohammed Mursi’s election as opposition leaders clamored for his resignation, AFP reported.
It was among the strongest interventions by the military since it handed power to Mursi and a civilian administration a year ago, after elections that followed the overthrow of former general Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, according to Reuters.
“There is a state of division in society and the continuation of it is a danger to the Egyptian state and there must be consensus among all,” Sisi said during a meeting with soldiers.
“It is the national and moral duty of the army to intervene... to prevent sectarian strife or the collapse of state institutions,” Sisi added.
During Sunday rallies, a number of people were killed and hundreds were injured as opposition members clashed with supporters of President Mursi.
The headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo was torched and the offices of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) were also set on fire in several provinces.