New Central Military Zone commander appointed

Celebrations were held Wednesday to mark the handover of leadership of the Central Military Zone to Commander Tawhid Tawfiq Abdel Samie.

The ceremony opened with a speech for outgoing Commander Hassan al-Roweiny, who was appointed assistant defense minister. Roweiny has reached the age of retirement.

Roweiny lauded the continuing support of the leaders of the armed forces, who he said helped the Central Military Zone carry out its mission and training activities after the 25 January revolution.

Roweiny is considered to be one of the most influential members of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. He told protesters in Tahrir Square in 10 February 2011 that their demands would be met.

The following day, former President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, handing power to the army.

But Roweiny later became a hated figure among revolutionary forces, especially after he accused the April 6 Youth Movement, one of the main youth groups that helped kick-start the uprising against Mubarak, of destabilizing the country. He alleged that its members are trained by foreign agents.

Abdel Samie, meanwhile, gave a speech in which he said that leaders of the Central Military Zone have pledged to improve the armed forces and to protect Egypt.

Abdel Samie said he would enhance the level of training, competence and preparedness of the armed forces in the Central Military Zone.

Many leaders of the armed forces attended the event, including Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Lieutenant General Sami Anan.

State-run news service MENA didn’t elaborate on who issued the decision to appoint Abdel Samie, but according to the supplement to the Constitutional Declaration that was issued last month, the SCAF has complete authority to control the armed forces without interference from the elected president.

Edited translation from MENA

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