Important news for Egypt Kremlinologists: New Central Military Zone commander appointed:
Celebrations were held Wednesday to mark the handover of leadership of the Central Military Zone to Commander Tawhid Tawfiq Abdel Samie.
The ceremony opened with a speech for outgoing Commander Hassan al-Roweiny, who was appointed assistant defense minister. Roweiny has reached the age of retirement.
Roweiny lauded the continuing support of the leaders of the armed forces, who he said helped the Central Military Zone carry out its mission and training activities after the 25 January revolution.
Roweiny is considered to be one of the most influential members of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. He told protesters in Tahrir Square in 10 February 2011 that their demands would be met.
The following day, former President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, handing power to the army.
But Roweiny later became a hated figure among revolutionary forces, especially after he accused the April 6 Youth Movement, one of the main youth groups that helped kick-start the uprising against Mubarak, of destabilizing the country. He alleged that its members are trained by foreign agents.
Two questions/consequences arise:
- This should mean that SCAF has a new member in General Abdel Samie, but does Ruweiny also stay on in his new capacity?
- Is this a promotion for Ruweiny, a way to keep him on despite his having reached the retirement age (and if that is being enforced, what about Tantawy?), or is this a way to demote him?
Update: Another possibility comes to mind: Ruweiny is being sent to be Deputy Defense Minister for when Tantawy leaves, at which point he will become the new Defense Minister, and that this is an effort to outflank Chief of Staff Sami Enan.