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Egypt’s Military Council of March 2020

Egypt’s Military Council

First: Creation and Mission

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) – Egypt’s highest military body which is sometimes referred to as the “Military Council” – was created by President Gamal Abdul Nasser under Law No. 4 of 1968 following the country’s defeat in the 1967 war. Its official purpose was to coordinate the strategy and operations of the armed forces during wartime, which is why President Anwar Sadat later sought counsel from it prior to the 1973 war.

Yet, SCAF took on a more ceremonial role following the Camp David Accords of 1978 and the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979. In contrast to the National Defense Council, the SCAF’s status was not enshrined in the constitution, and it seemed to convene only on anniversaries of past wars during the Hosni Mubarak era. Following the January 2011 uprising that ousted Mubarak, however, the SCAF’s role fundamentally changed.

In mid-2011, SCAF made an extraordinary decision stating that members of the military junta shall remain linked to the army even if they were removed from service, under a call-up commitment, that is they can be called up at any time. Therefore, any SCAF member since 2011 should return to the military junta for obtaining a permission to engage in any public activity such as elections.

Second: SCAF members in the wake of 2011 January Revolution:

No. Name Position
01 Mohamed Hosni Mubarak Former President
02 Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi Former Defense Minister
03 Lieutenant General Sami Hafez Anan Former Chief of Staff
04 Lieutenant General Mohab Memish Former Navy Commander
05 Lieutenant General Reda Mahmoud Hafez Former Air Force Commander
06 Lieutenant General Abdel-Aziz Seif Eddin Former Air Defense Commander
07 Major General Hassan al-Roueini Former GOC, Central Military Zone
08 Major General Mohamed Farid Hegazy Former GOC, Second Field Army
09 Major General Sedki Sobhi Former GOC, Third Field Army
10 Major General Nabil Mohamed Fahmi Former GOC, Northern Military Zone
11 Major General Mohsen Al-Shazli Former GOC, Southern Military Zone
12 Major General Mahmoud Hegazy Former GOC, Western Military Zone
13 Major General Ahmed Youssef Abdel Nabi Former Border Guards Force Commander
14 Major General Mohsen al-Fanagry Former Assistant Defense Minister
15 Major General Adel Emara Former Assistant Defense Minister
16 Major General Ismail Etman Former Director of the Morale
17 Major General Mamdouh Shaheen Assistant Defense Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs
18 Major General Mohamed El Assar Former Assistant Defense Minister for Armament Affairs
19 Major General Mokhtar El Molla Former Assistant Defense Minister for Political Affairs
20 Major General Tareq Al-Mahdi Former Assistant Defense Minister
21 Major General Mohamed Saber Attia Former Director of Military Operations
22 Major General Taher Abdullah Former Director of Armed Forces Engineering Authority
23 Major General Mamdouh Abdel-Haq Former Assistant Defense Minister
24 Major General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi Former Director of Military Intelligence

Third: Law No. 20 of 2014

According to Law No. 20, 2014 which formalized the new SCAF’s structure and mission, the Council consists of twenty-five members, including the defense minister and chief of staff; and later the number of SCAF members became 26 after the creation of the position of “Commander of Unified Command” to oversee counterterrorism operations east of the Suez Canal. The following table shows this in detail:

No Name No Name
01 The President 14 Director of Armed Forces Armament Authority
02 Defense Minister 15 Director of Armed Forces Engineering Authority
03 Chief of Staff 16 Director of Armed Forces Financial Affairs Authority
04 Navy Commander 17 Director of Armed Forces Judiciary Authority
05 Air Force Commander 18 GOC, Second Field Army
06 Air Defense Commander 19 GOC, Third Field Army
07 Assistant Minister of Defense for Constitutional and Legal Affairs  20 GOC, Central Military Zone
08 Defense Ministry Secretary General 21 GOC, Northern Military Zone
09 Border Guards Force Commander 22 GOC, Southern Military Zone
10 Head of Military Operations Authority 23 GOC, Western Military Zone
11 Head of the Organization and Administration Authority 24 Director of Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance Administration
12 Head of Armed Forces Training Authority 25 Director of Officers’ Affairs Dept.
13 Head of Armed Forces Logistics Authority 26 Commander of Unified Command

SCAF Mission according to Law 20 of 2014

According to Law 20 of 2014, SCAF mission was stated as follows:

1- To define strategic objectives and tasks in order to achieve political objectives as well as objectives of military policy determined by the political leadership of the state.

2- To determine the size and shape of the armed forces, their organizational structure and future development.

3- To maintain the armed forces’ combat readiness.

4- To set the armed forces’ recruitment policy and the bases of mobilization.

5- To develop the policy of harboring the armed forces and study the state of military discipline and morale.

6. To approve the armed forces’ policy of training, including exercises and joint exercises.

7. To approve the policy of military operations theater preparation.

8. To prepare draft laws and regulations governing the service of individuals in the armed forces and proposals for the recruitment system.

9. To approve the policy of maintaining security and safety of the armed forces.

10. To review the reports of commanders of the main branches, heads of bodies, commanders of field armies and military zones, and department managers to determine the state of combat readiness of the armed forces.

11. To study the declaration of the state of war or sending military forces out of the country.

12. To prepare an assessment of the military political situation.

13- To issue the document of the State’s military threats and challenges.

14. To prepare the document of military policy.

15. To prepare the State for war or defense in cooperation with the National Defense Council and the National Security Council.

16- To cooperate and coordinate with the National Security Council in determining the internal hostilities related to the role of the armed forces in this regard.

17- To approve the appointment of the Minister of Defense. This shall be valid for two full terms of office according to the Constitution of 2014.

18- To express its opinion in the declaration of war or sending the armed forces in a combat mission beyond the borders of the State.

19. To discuss any other issues the Minister of Defense submits to the Military Council, such as the country’s economic situation, security situation, and plans to confront protests.

Law 20/2014 Regulations

– Law 20 of 2014 stipulates that SCAF shall consist of the Minister of Defense, as Chairman, the Chief of Staff as Deputy Chairman, Navy Commander, Air Force Commander, Air Defense Commander, assistants to the Minister of Defense, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Defense, Border Guards Commander; heads of the armed forces authorities of Logistics, Armament, and Engineering, financial affairs, and military judiciary; commanders of second and third field armies, and commanders of the central, north, south, and western military zones, as well as Director of Military Intelligence,  and Officers’ Affairs Director. The law stipulates that the secretary general of the Ministry of Defense shall serve as SCAF Secretary General. Also, the Minister of Defense shall define SCAF members from among his assistants of various specialties. (Article I / paragraph I)

– A decision by the President of the Republic may include members of the Council from the leadership of the armed forces (Article I / paragraph 2)

– The Minister of Defense shall convene the Council every three months, and whenever necessary. The Council shall not hold a meeting except in the presence of the majority of its members. Decisions and directives of the Council shall be issued by a majority vote of the members present. In case of a war or declaration of public mobilization, the Council convenes on an ongoing basis. (Article II / Paragraph 1)

– The President of the Republic may call the Council to convene whenever necessary, and the President shall preside over the meeting in the event of his attendance (Article II / Paragraph 2)

– The Minister of Defense may invite any of the commanders of the armed forces or any specialists or experts from outside the armed forces to attend the SCAF meeting if the study of the subjects presented requires this, but without having a right to vote. (Article III / Paragraph 1)

– SCAF shall have the right to summon any minister, if necessary, to discuss a particular subject. (Article IV)

– The Council’s decisions shall be issued in the form of a resolution or directive from the Minister of Defense. The minutes and decisions of the Council shall be signed by the Council Chairman and Secretary General and sent to the competent authorities for implementation. (Article V)

Decisions of the Council shall be issued in the form of a decision or directive from the Minister of Defense, and the minutes and decisions of the Council shall be signed by the Chairman and the Secretary of the Council and sent to the competent authorities for implementation (Article 5)

Fourth: Military Council after October 2017

 After the dismissal of Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazi, on October 28, 2017, the formation was as follows:

No. Name Position
01 Abdel-Fattah Said Hussein Al-Sisi According to Constitution, Sisi is Armed Forces Supreme Commander
02 Lieutenant General Sedki Sobhi (Chairman) Defense Minister
03 Lieutenant General Mohamed Farid Hegazi (Deputy Chairman) Chief of Staff
04 Lieutenant General Ahmed Khaled Hassan Navy Commander
05 Lieutenant General Younes Al-Masri Air Force Commander
06 Lieutenant General Ali Fahmi Mohamed Air Defense Commander
07 Staff Major General Ayman Amer GOC, Central Military Zone
08 Staff Major General Khaled Megawer GOC, Second Field Army
09 Staff Major General Mohamed Raafat Al-Dish GOC, Third Field Army
10 Staff Major General Ali Adel Ashmawi GOC, Northern Military Zone
11 Staff Major General Sherif Hussein GOC, Southern Military Zone
12 Staff Major General Sherif Beshara GOC, Western Military Zone
13 Staff Major General Basem Riyadh Helal Border Guards Force Commander
14 Staff Major General Wahid Ezzat Director of Military Operations
15 Staff Major General Abdel Mohsen Mousa Director of Armament Authority
16 Staff Major General Nasser Asi Head of Armed Forces Training Authority
17 Major General Mamdouh Shaheen Assistant Defense Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs
18 Staff Major General Salah Eddin Helmi Head of Logistics Authority
19 Staff Major General Mohamed Amin Nasr Head of Financial Affairs Authority
20 Major General Emad Abdel Aziz Head of Judiciary Authority
21 Staff Major General Abdel Ghani Al-Saghir Head of the Organization and Administration Authority
22 Staff Major General Mohamed Anwer Al-Shahhat Director of Military Intelligence
23 Staff Major General Khairat Barakat Director of Officers Affairs Authority
24 Staff Major General Kamel Al-Wazir Director of Armed Forces Engineering Authority
25 Staff Major General Mhamed Al-Masri Commander of Unified Command
26 Staff Major General Mohamed Abdellah Defense Ministry Secretary General

Fifth: Former SCAF members subject to call-up commitment

Alongside the commanders who are members of the Military Council 2017, there are other leaders who are have been considered SCAF members since the 25th revolution, as they are senior commanders within the Egyptian army. However, the new SCAF composition was settled in October 2017. The following are SCAF members who have been dismissed:

No. Name Position
01 Lieutenant General Mohamed Farid Hegazi Former Chief of Staff
02 Lieutenant General Abd Al-Moniem Al-Terras Former Commander of Air Defense
03 Lieutenant General Osama Rabie Former Navy Forces Commander
04 Lieutenant General Osama Al-Gendi Former Navy Forces Commander
05 Staff Major General Ahmed Wasfi Former Second Field Army Commander
06 Staff Major General Nasser Al-Asi Former Second Field Army Commander
07 Lieutenant General Osama Askar Former Third Field Army Commander
08 Major General Salah Al-Badri Former Military Intelligence Director
09 Major General Mohamed Farid Tohami Former Military Intelligence Director
10 Staff Major General Said Abbas Former GOC, Northern Military Zone
11 Staff Major General Mohamed Zamalout Former GOC, Northern Military Zone
12 Staff Major General Mohamed Lotfi Former GOC, Northern Military Zone
13 Staff Major General Mohamed Arafat Former GOC, Southern Military Zone
14 Staff Major General Yehia Taha Former GOC, Southern Military Zone
15 Staff Major General Mohamed Al-Masri Former GOC, Western Military Zone
16 Staff Major General Wahid Ezzat Former GOC, Western Military Zone
17 Staff Major General Mohamed Al-Assar Former Head of Armament Authority
18 Staff Major General Ahmed Abu Eddahab Former Head of the Organization and Administration Authority
19 Staff Major General Tawhid Tawfiq Former Head of Military Operations Authority
20 Staff Major General Mohsen El-Shazly Former Head of Military Operations Authority
21 Staff Major General Gamal Ismail Former Head of Logistics Authority
22 Staff Major General Ibrahim Al-Nosouhi Former Head of Training Authority
23 Staff Major General Taher Abdullah Former Head of Engineering Authority
24 Staff Major General Emad Al-Alfi Former Head of Engineering Authority
25 Staff Major General Medhat Ghazzi Former Head of Military Judiciary
26 Major General Ahmed Ibrahim Former Commander of Border Guards
27 Colonel Ahmed Ali Former Military Spokesman
28 Colonel Mohamed Samir Former Military Spokesman
29 Major General Abdel- Mordi Abdel-Salam Former Head of Logistics Authority

Sixth: Formation of the Military Council in March 2020

The following list of members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) until March 2020. After the December 2019 reshuffle of senior army officers, the list included some commanders that believe that there is urgent need to change the course of Sisi’s way of governance and review many of his policies:

Formation of the Military Council in March 2020

1- Lt. General Mohamed Zaki, Commander in Chief and Minister of Defense 14- Maj. Gen. Ahmed Wasfi, GOC – Central Military Zone
2- Lt. Gen. Mohamed Farid Hegazi, Chief of Staff 15- Maj. Gen. Staff Tarek Zaghloul, Head of Armament Authority
3- Lt. Gen. Mohamed Abbas Helmi, Air Force Commander 16- Maj. Gen. Staff Ahmad Al-Demerdash, Chairman of the Financial Affairs Authority
4- Lt. Gen. Mohamed Ali Fahmy, Commander of Air Defense Forces 17- Maj. Gen. Staff Waleed Abul Magd, Head of Logistics Authority
5- Lt. Gen. Ahmed Khaled, Commander of Naval Forces 18- Maj. Gen. Staff Tarek Hassan, Head of Officers Affairs Authority
6- Lt. Gen. Osama Askar, Head of Operations Authority 19- Maj. Gen. Staff Khaled Megawer, Director of Military Intelligence
7- Maj. Gen. Staff Emad El-Ghazali, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Defense 20- Maj. Gen. Staff Mamdouh Shahin, Assistant Minister of Defense
8- Maj. Gen. Staff Yehya Taha El-Hamili, Chairman of Training Authority 21- Maj. Gen. Staff. Mohamed El-Dash, Commander of Unified Command
9- Maj. Gen. Staff Rafik Raafat Arafat, Commander of the Second Army 22- Maj. Gen. Staff Salah El-Reweini, Head of Military Judiciary
10- Maj. Gen. Staff Khaled Qenawi, Commander of the Third Army 23- Maj. Gen. Staff Ehab El-Far, Head of Engineering Authority
11- Maj. Gen. Staff Fahmy Heikal, GOC – Northern Military Zone 24- Maj. Gen. Staff Adel Ashmawi, Head of the Organization and Administration Authority
12- Maj. Gen. Staff Ashraf Al-Hosary, GOC – Southern Military Zone 25- Maj. Gen. Staff Ayman Shehata, Commander of Border Guards
13- Maj. Gen. Staff Salah Saraya, GOC – Western Military Zone  

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