Egypt's Military Rulers Warn Of Conspiracies

Published February 10, 2012 8:54PM (EST)

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's military rulers warned Friday that the country faces conspiracies that seek to topple the state and spread chaos, one day before activists plan to mark the anniversary of the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak with protests and a general strike.

In a statement read on state TV Friday, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that took power when Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11, 2011, said it would not bow to pressures to accelerate the transition to civilian rule.

"Never will we bow to threats, nor succumb to pressures, nor accept ultimatums," it said.

Activists have continued to protest against the army, accusing it of botching the transition to democracy, and calling for an immediate power transfer to a civilian authority.

In an effort to increase pressure on the army, protest groups have called for a rolling general strike to begin Saturday.

The message appeared to be aimed at discouraging the strike.

Egypt is facing efforts to strike "a mortal blow" to the revolution by sewing discord between the army and the people, the statement said.

Without naming any culprits, it said Egypt was facing plots to topple the state.

"We face conspiracies hatched against the homeland, whose goal is to undermine the institutions of the Egyptian state and whose aim is to topple the state itself so that chaos reigns and destruction spreads," it said.

Egyptian officials and military leaders have often blamed unnamed actors and "foreign hands" for fomenting unrest in Egypt.

The generals and the military-backed government have been critical of the strike call, casting it as another example of foreign attempts to weaken Egypt. The state media and a Facebook page affiliated with the ruling generals accused the U.S. of using local institutions, such as the American University in Cairo, to agitate for the strike.

It is unclear how many people will participate in the strike. Continued unrest since Mubarak's ouster has battered Egypt's economy, leading some to criticize the continued protests for preventing a recovery.

Religious figures and the powerful Muslim Brotherhood group, which controls nearly 50 percent of the country's newly elected parliament, are among those condemning the strike on the grounds that it could hurt the economy.

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------