Sisi promises to defeat ‘terrorism’ in Egypt

Ex-army chief says there will be no reconciliation with those who use violence, and vows to improve economic prospects.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has used his first speech as Egypt’s president to promise to “defeat terrorism”, saying that security is a priority and that he has no time for reconciliation with opponents.

Hours after his inauguration on Sunday, the former army general said there would be a new era for all except those who “turn to crimes and violence”.

“Defeating terrorism and achieving security is the top priority,” said Sisi, adding there would be “no leniency and truce with those who resort to violence”.

“I am looking to a new era built on reconciliation and tolerance … except with those who committed crimes or used violence as a tool,” he said.

“I am saying clearly that those who shed the blood of the innocent and killed … the sons of Egypt, they don’t have a place.”

Sisi rose to power after deposing the Brotherhood-backed Mohamed Morsi from the presidency last year on a wave of popular protest. The Brotherhood has since been designated a “terrorist organisation” by authorities.

Fawaz Gerges, a professor of international relations at the London School of Economics, told Al Jazeera that the speech was clear in intent – Sisi would not entertain dissent.

“He started his speech by saying that he was the president of all Egyptians but he made it clear that there would be no reconciliation with groups who opposed him,” he said.

“He sent a message to the Muslim Brotherhood that he did not believe in reconciliation.”

Sisi also promised new tourists resorts, industrial redevelopment and more jobs, but gave no further information on how these would be created.

Gerges said that the promises were a “shopping list” to deal with the problems Egypt faced, and there were no specific ideas offered.

Sisi’s speech came hours after he took the oath of office at the Constitutional Court in Cairo – the same venue where Morsi was sworn in two years ago.

First transition

Sisi is the fifth Egyptian president to come from the army’s ranks. The ceremony also marked the first time one president handed power to the next, although Adly Mansour, the former interim president, was appointed by Sisi.

Sunday was declared a national holiday and tight security was enforced by the police and military throughout Cairo.

Asraf Abdul Ghaffar, a senior member of the Brotherhood, told Al Jazeera that he believed many in Egypt did not recognise Sisi’s presidency.

“Sisi is not the president. Morsi has not resigned. The legitimate president is Mohamed Morsi,” he said. “Sisi has cracked the Egyptian community.”

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies