May 3 - Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces reiterates its commitment to hand over power to civilians by the end of June, following violent clashes during protests against their rule. Simon Hanna reports.
Just days after violent clashes erupted on the streets of Cairo once again, Egypt's ruling military council reiterate that they will hand over power. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces - or SCAF - have been in power since Mubarak's ouster in February 2011. Their time in charge has been marked by sporadic violence. The latest clashes began after a peaceful anti SCAF protest outside the army's ministry of defence was attacked, resulting in at least 11 deaths. This prompted generals from the military council to reiterate on Thursday that they will hand over power as per their schedule. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MEMBER OF THE SCAF, GENERAL MOHAMED EL-ASSAR: "We do not get bored of repeating this every time and everywhere and today we are clearly and frankly announcing that the armed forces and its Supreme Council are committed to transferring power on or before the schedule date - June 30, 212. This is our position because we are not aiming to continue holding power, we are not aiming to rule any more and we are not demanding any powers." US Senator John Kerry, on a two day visit to Cairo, said he was convinced after meeting the head of the SCAF that they intend to transfer power to civilians. (SOUNDBITE) (English) US SENATOR JOHN KERRY: "Field Marshal Tantawi was crystal clear with me - very determined and very adamant that he and SCA, in full, intend to turn over power." The SCAF are expected to hand over power to a civilian president after elections set for later this month. But many Egyptians suspect the generals, who have built up vast economic and business interests over the years, will see strong influence even after the official power transfer. Simon Hanna, Reuters.