Top Egyptian military commander promises army overhaul

By REUTERS
September 30, 2012 03:04

CAIRO, Sept 29 - Egypt's most senior military commander has promised better training and more modern weaponry for the army in an apparent effort to satisfy officers' demands for change, which have multiplied after an uprising last year.


Commander-in-Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is also the defence minister, was appointed by the country's first Islamist president Mohamed Mursi only last month and is under pressure to shake up a military which until recently had held the balance of power in Egypt for decades.


Addressing troops last week during the first military drill in a series to mark the 39th anniversary of the 1973 war with Israel, Sisi tried to reassure troops that change was on its way despite the fact that the drill was being conducted using old weaponry such as the Soviet BM-21, a rocket launcher which has been in service for 40 years.


"We will devise a comprehensive programme that develops real training for the forces in all military branches to maximise the performance of individual officers and soldiers during my time here," he said, according to a live recording of his speech obtained by Reuters on Saturday.


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