Threats to Si­nai have not come to an end: Al-Sisi


The Daily News Egypt - - Front Page - By Ad­ham Youssef

As the Egyptian state cel­e­brates Si­nai Lib­er­a­tion Day, Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah Al-Sisi ad­dressed the na­tion on Wed­nes­day say­ing that, “threats on Si­nai have not come to an end.”

Al-Sisi ex­plained that through­out the past years Egypt has been deal­ing with a wave of mil­i­tancy from “ter­ror­ist groups,which are spon­sored and fi­nanced by some coun­tries.” He added that the ex­pe­ri­ence of “re­cap­tur­ing Si­nai taught us that the Egyptian peo­ple will not let go of their lands, and are able to pro­tect it in peace and in war.”

The pres­i­dent, who has been elected last month for an­other pres­i­den­tial term, has been a vo­cal op­po­nent of Is­lamist mil­i­tancy, which came at a peak in 2013, af­ter the ouster of for­mer Is­lamist Pres­i­dent Mohamed Morsi.

Sev­eral mil­i­tary cam­paigns, spear­headed by the Egyptian army and the po­lice, have at­tempted to limit and re­strict the oc­cur­rence of mil­i­tant at­tacks on se­cu­rity per­son­nel in the Si­nai Penin­sula. Hun­dreds of civil­ians, se­cu­rity per­son­nel, and mil­i­tants have been killed in the process.

Al-Sisi said that “as we con­tinue to fight ter­ror­ism, we also aim to con­tinue de­vel­op­ing Si­nai.”

Si­nai Lib­er­a­tion Day is a com­mem­o­ra­tion of the with­drawal of all Is­raeli mil­i­tary and civil­ian per­son­nel, in­clud­ing set­tle­ments,on 25April in ac­cor­dance with the 1979 peace treaty be­tween Is­rael and Egypt.

The day is con­sid­ered a pub­lic hol­i­day and usu­ally in­cludes mil­i­tary pa­rades, aerial shows, or strong na­tion­al­is­tic sen­ti­ments.

On the same day of the cel­e­bra­tion, the mil­i­tary spokesper­son an­nounced that three mil­i­tary per­son­nel have been killed in an on­go­ing mil­i­tary cam­paign.

The Si­nai 2018 mil­i­tary cam­paign has be­gun in Fe­bru­ary.

TheWed­nes­day state­ment also said that 30 mil­i­tants have been killed in ac­tion, in­clud­ing an al­leged leader of an “ex­trem­ist group” rais­ing the num­ber of killed mil­i­tants, as an­nounced by the mil­i­tary, to more than 100 in­di­vid­u­als.

Early this week, Hu­man Rights Watch pub­lished a re­port ar­gu­ing that “the Egyptian govern­ment cam­paign against an af­fil­i­ate of the Is­lamic State group in North Si­nai has left up to 420,000 res­i­dents in four north-eastern cities in ur­gent need of hu­man­i­tar­ian aid.”

The state­ment was heav­ily de­nounced by pro-state me­dia and par­lia­ment mem­bers. The army spokesper­son told pri­vately owned TV Sada Al-Balad that the re­port was a fake and that waves of sup­plies,and aid have been en­ter­ing North Si­nai since the start of the cam­paign, deny­ing the de­tails that were men­tioned in the re­port.

Al-Sisi plac­ing a wreath on the Un­known Sol­dier Me­mo­rial

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