Al Jazeera: Egypt’s military leadership – profiles


Richard Moore

Egypt’s military leadership
Brief profiles of members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces as it assumes power from Hosni Mubarak.
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2011 09:37 GMT

Hosni Mubarak has resigned as Egypt’s president and transferred his powers to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. 

General Omar Suleiman, vice-president and former intelligence chief, is among the key retired or serving military officers on the council.

Others include Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, defence minister; Lt Gen Sami Anan, chief of staff of the Egyptian army; Air Marshal Ahmed Shafiq, the new prime minister.

Here are brief profiles of some of the men that make up the council.

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi

Field Marshal Tantawi, Egypt’s defence minister, was appointed deputy prime minister after the government was sacked on January 29 and is now heading the council.

He became minister of defence in 1991 and is the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

Some reports suggest that Tantawi, 75, has been seen as a possible contender for the Egyptian presidency.

During the mass protests which forced Mubarak to step down, Tantawi famously became the first member of government to visit Tahrir Square on February 4. He is said to have engaged military officers as well as protesters during his brief visit.

In diplomatic cables released by the Wikileaks website, US officials have characterised Tantawi as someone who was “reluctant to change” and uncomfortable with the US focus on fighting terrorism.

Tantawi served in three wars against Israel, starting with the 1956 Suez Crisis and the 1967 and 1973 Middle East wars.

He also served as military attaché to Pakistan and commander of Egypt’s Presidential Guard.

Sami Hafez Anan

Lieutenant-General Sami Anan is the armed forces’ chief of staff, and the commander of 468,000 troops. He is seen as having a crucial role in co-ordinating interim arrangements for the government in Egypt.

Anan, 63, was in Washington when the uprising began and he cut short his visit to return. It was reported that the United States was pushing Anan for a key mediating role, though it was speculated that he was far too close to Mubarak to retain any role in a new government.

He is trained in the former Soviet Union and has studied at France’s elite interservice war college as well as in Egypt.

He served as defence attaché to Morocco in 1990-1992.

Reda Mahmoud Hafez Mohamed

Air Marshal Reda Mahmoud Hafez Mohamed, the air force chief, became commander of the Eastern Air Zone and then the Southern Air Zone in 2005.

On 1 July 2007 he became chief of the operations department and towards the end of the year he was appointed Air Force Chief of Staff.

Within three months he replaced Magdy Galal Sharawi as air force chief, taking up his post on 20 March 2008.

The 59-year-old has held numerous command posts and served as a liaison officer to the United States.

Mohab Mohammed Hussein Mamish

Naval Forces Commander in Chief Vice Admiral Mohab Mohammed Hussein Mamish, 63, has trained in the US, the UK and the UAE.

Abd El Aziz Seif-Eldeen

Lieutenant General Abd El Aziz Seif-Eldeen, 62, is commander of The Egyptian Air Defence Forces, He joined the military college in 1968 and graduated in 1970.

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