Cairo: Egypt’s military is geared up to counter violence during protests against President Morsi planned by his opponents on June 10 which is the first anniversary of the Islamist leader’s election.
According to the state newspaper, Egypt’s military is ready to foil any violence likely to occur during the protests against the country’s president on last day of this month.
A military source quoted as saying, “Security forces from the armed forces and the military police will deploy on all main roads on June 28 to secure vital installations and public facilities.”
“The armed forces will not allow any confrontations that could lead to violence or drive the country into a spiral of blood during the June 30 protests. We are not with one side against another side,” it added.
Accusing Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood backers of seeking to dominate Egypt, the opposition is demanding early presidential polls to cut short his four-year term.
Islamist supporters of Morsi plan to hit the streets on Friday in what they have billed as a rally against violence.
The street protests are expected to be Egypt’s biggest since the second anniversary of the uprising against Hosni Mubarak on January 25, when anti-Morsi unrest turned into days of violence.
Morsi’s most extreme critics have been urging the army to remove him from power, demanding the type of intervention that led to Mubarak’s downfall at the peak of the 2011 uprising. The army has signaled it intends to stay out of politics.
Last month, the head of the army, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said, “No one is going to remove anybody,” adding that the army is not the solution to Egypt’s political problems.
Citing the military source, Al Gomhuria said that tools at the army’s disposal ranged from imposing a curfew to martial law, “especially if matters slip out of control and red lines are crossed that threaten Egyptian national security.”
The military deployed in January in cities near the Suez Canal during the second anniversary protests. The violence was exacerbated by a court ruling sentencing to death 21 soccer fans from Port Said over a soccer stadium disaster in 2012.
The Republican Guards also deployed outside the presidential palace in December to separate protesters when violent, anti-Morsi protests erupted there.
The Islamists accuse the opposition of seeking to unseat an elected leader through undemocratic means. The opposition, made up mostly of liberal and leftist parties, says Morsi has betrayed promises to govern through consensus.