Egyptian President el-Sisi named five former army generals as provincial governors 0

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has named five former army generals as new provincial governors as part of appointments that increase the influence of military and security figures on crucial bodies. The five new provincial governors were sworn in during a ceremony at the presidential compound on Wednesday. Atef Abdel-Hamid, a former army officer and the minister of transportation in the 2011 Essam Sharaf government, was named as the new governor of the most populated and capital province of Cairo. The position had been vacant for six months.

Amr Abdel-Moneim, a former military official and the current secretary-general of the Egyptian cabinet, was appointed as the new governor of the northern province of Qalyubia. Alexandria’s new governor is former police general Reda Farahat. Former police general Essam el-Din el-Bedawai was appointed as the governor of Minya Province in the Upper Egypt region, while Air Force Major General Ahmed Mohamed Hamed was named governor of Suez.

University professor Gamal Sami was appointed the governor of Fayoum Province, located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of Cairo. Sisi also named retired 64-year-old army general Mohamed Ali el-Sheikh as the new minister of supply. His nomination had been approved by the parliament on Tuesday.

Sheikh succeeds Khaled Hanafi, who had to step down last month amid corruption allegations and implication in a scandal related to fraudulent wheat subsidy payments. Egyptian provincial governors normally have held senior roles in homeland security and the military before their appointment. With the recent appointments, only eight of the country’s 27 provincial governors now have civilian backgrounds.

The Egyptian government has been engaged in a crackdown on the opposition since democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi was ousted in July 2013 in a military coup led by Sisi who was then the head of the armed forces. Sisi has been accused of leading the suppression in which hundreds of Morsi supporters have been killed in clashes with security forces. Rights groups say the army’s crackdown has led to the deaths of over 1,400 people and the arrest of 22,000 others, including some 200 people who have been sentenced to death in mass trials.