President Mohamed Morsy has sacked General Intelligence Service Director Murad Muwafi and North Sinai governor El-Sayed Abdel-Wahab Mabrouk, an official presidential spokesperson said Wednesday.
The wide scale sackings come after gunmen attacked soldiers from the Border Guards on the Egyptian – Israeli border in Rafah, North Sinai.
Muwafi made a statement indicating that Egyptian intelligence had enough information to anticipate the attack but failed to act upon it, while Mabrouk, as the local governor of North Sinai, was an obvious target of blame.
Mohamed Raafat Abdel-Wahed Shehata has been temporarily appointed acting Director of General Intelligence.
Morsy also tasked Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) Chairman and Minister of Defence, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, with appointing a new chief of military police to replace Major General Hamdi Badeen.
The President made several other key appointments. Major General Mohamed Ahmed Zaki is now the new Republican Guard commander, while the Minister of Interior, Ahmed Gamal El-Din, was ordered to hire Maged Mostafa Kamel Nouh as Assistant Minister of Interior for the Central Security Forces Sector and Osama Mohamed Al-Sagheer as Assistant Minister of Interior for the Cairo security sector.
Ambassador Refaa El-Tahtawy has been appointed as new presidential chief of staff, state owned Middle East News Agency reported Wednesday. El-Tahtawy is the former official spokesperson for Al-Azhar.
The former Republican Guard commander, Major General Samy Dyab, was replaced after he advised Morsy not to attend the funeral of the victims as it would be impossible to secure him against angry mobs. Tantawi and Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Sami Anan, attended the funeral and were secured without incident. Morsy’s failure to attend the funeral caused a public outcry.
No official reasons have been given as to why Morsy wants military police chief Hamdi Badeen replaced, but Badeen was in charge of security at the Rafah victims’ funeral at which several public figures were attacked, including Prime Minister Hesham Qandil.
According to a supplementary constitutional decree released by SCAF weeks before Morsy became president, he does not have the power to make personnel changes within the military. Tasking Tantawi with replacing Badeen through a public statement, however, is seen as embarrassing for the military commander and placing him in a tough position.
The appointment of a new Republican Guard commander and presidential chief of staff is a sign of Morsy’s lack of trust in the men surrounding him, most of whom were hired before he became President.
The move is reminiscent of former late President Anwar El-Sadat’s “corrective revolution” of 15 May 1971, where he purged elements of his predecessor Gamal Abdel Nasser’s regime from the government and military to prevent an alleged planned coup.