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:
|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:
|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:
|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:
|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|