This time around, the Army knows how to add its own spin on things

 

Share
Related Topics

As an army sniper crouched on the roof and trained his rifle on the demonstrators down below, every movement was being tracked on camera.

Not just by the dozens of amateur videographers standing among the Muslim Brotherhood supporters in the street. This time the military had its own cameraman – and he was standing just behind the soldier as he repeatedly fired his rifle into the crowd.

The scene, captured in footage taken during Monday’s massacre of at least 51 civilians in Cairo, encapsulates the army’s growing attempt to add its own spin to events. During the military rule which followed the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, it never appeared too concerned about burnishing its public image. That all changed after the arrival of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the current army chief who was promoted by Mohamed Morsi last year.

Perhaps the most striking example of El-Sisi’s new approach was when, in an effort to persuade Mr Morsi to see sense during his final days in power, officials hired an Egyptian film director to record the mass protests from military helicopters. The videos were later shown to the embattled President – but were also leaked to opposition media to pile more pressure on the Egyptian leader.

In addition, El-Sisi appointed an official army spokesman. “I sense they are much more on top of the PR requirements,” said a Cairo-based British official.”

At press conferences this week, army officials have gone to great lengths to win over Western journalists critical of Monday’s massacre. Colonel Ahmed Ali, the army spokesman, told reporters his troops had been forced to kill protesters after being provoked.

“This is not what we were trained to do,” he said. “We were trained to fight and kill the enemy. But this is new. This is the first time in history that we find Egyptian people have guns and rifles and they are aiming them at the military.”

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: European Sales Director - Aerospace Cable & Wire

£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Project Manager

£17100 - £22900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an intermediate help de...

Recruitment Genius: CNC Turner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established manufactu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Caitlyn Jenner's first shoot is a victory - but is this really best version of femininity we can aspire to?

Sirena Bergman
The sun balances next to St Albans Church in Earsdon, North Tyneside.  

The world’s nations have one last chance to slow climate change

Michael McCarthy
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral