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Reports of ex-military officials diaries a threat to national security: Armed Forces

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Alleged diary of former army chief of staff weighs in on revolution; army says such reports only sow confusion

former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Sami Anan (Khaled Desouki, AFP/Getty Images)

former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Sami Anan
(Khaled Desouki, AFP/Getty Images)

Media reports on alleged personal diaries of ex-military officials may create confusion and threaten national security “under these sensitive circumstances,” the Armed Forces have said.

In a statement addressed to “the Great Egyptian people” on Saturday, the military said such media reports threaten the security and safety of the Armed Forces and stressed the “extreme importance of being cautious and careful when dealing with this information without taking the necessary legal measures.”

The military added that these legal measures are taken in coordination with security apparatuses because of the “hazards” that can be caused by circulating such information.

“All countries are keen on banning the publication of information on topics that might affect national security, and set appropriate periods of time and regulatory laws, which expose violators to legal accountability,” the statement read.

The military said citizens have the right to information “but national security considerations compel us all to be responsible,” and called on all media services to cooperate.

News reports have been circulating for several days with what they claim is a copy of recently released a personal diary of former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Sami Anan. State-run Al-Ahram’s nightly version ran the diary under the title “Annan talks” and it also appeared in several private news services such as Al-Fajr and Al-Watan newspapers.

The alleged diary runs for nearly 2,500 words and offers Annan’s testimony on the 25 January Revolution including accounts of conversations with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi throughout that period. At the time Tantawi was the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defence, and Annan at one point suggested that “a soft coup” would be the solution to the crisis.

According to the reports, Annan also weighs in on the Battle of the Camel, a deadly attack on protesters on 2 February, 2011 and the three speeches ousted President Hosni Mubarak delivered during the Revolution.

Both Tantawi and Annan were sacked by ousted President Mohamed Morsi on 12 August, 2012 and honoured with the Order of the Nile and the Order of the Republic, respectively. They were also appointed as advisors for Morsi. Annan resigned as adviser to Morsi on 1 July, two days before the former president’s ouster.

Several reports had claimed that Annan intends to run for the presidency in the upcoming presidential elections but Annan denied this, state-run MENA reported on 20 September.

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