Tantawi dismisses general in bid to improve image

Egypt’s military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, sacked Major General Ismail Etman, the general responsible for media affairs, on Monday. The move, largely seen as an attempt to bolster the military's image, comes one month after he appointed General Samir Farag, former Luxor governor and a former head of the Armed Forces' Morale Affairs Department, as his media consultant.

Recently, the ruling military council has lost popularity due to protester killings and accusations that it seeks to undermine Egypt’s democratic revolution.

Major General Ismail Etman, 60, was exempted from service and replaced by Major General Ahmed Abul Dahab, the director of the artillery division, a Defense Ministry source said.

Some SCAF members have said that Farag prohibited them from speaking with the media before obtaining official permission, Al-Tahrir newspaper said on Tuesday.

The paper cited sources as saying that Farag maintains strong relations with Osama Heikal, former Information Minister, whose decisions came under fire during his tenure as minister under former Prime Minister Essam Sharaf. Farag was allegedly behind Heikal’s appointment as Information Minister.

Interestingly, Tantawi is using Farag to improve SCAF's image, even though Farag’s reputation is tainted by charges that he squandered public funds by selling public land to investors at below-market prices.

Investigations indicated that Farag, along with former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, directly ordered the ‎selling of the land to businessman Mamdouh Fillip for a negligible price.

Farag was detained pending investigations and then released after the case was referred to military prosecution. The trial remains ongoing.

Related Articles

Back to top button