News / Middle East

    Egyptian Sinai Engulfed in Post-Revolution Lawlessness

    Egypt's Sinai Engulfed In Post-Revolution Lawlessnessi
    X
    May 16, 2013 9:22 PM
    Egypt's Sinai peninsula has grown increasingly lawless since the revolution, with officials bringing new accusations the region is home to terrorist training camps. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from Cairo.
    Elizabeth Arrott
    Egypt's Sinai peninsula has grown increasingly lawless since the revolution, with officials bringing new accusations the region is home to terrorist training camps.

    Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has long been a country apart. It has its share of foreign tourists seeking sun and sand on the Red Sea. But for residents, life is hard.

    The Bedouin have long felt disenfranchised and excluded from the tourist wealth in southern Sinai. Now, in northern Sinai, jihadists, smugglers and common criminals are finding that post-revolution lawlessness makes the desolate landscape a perfect hiding place.

    Egypt's Volatile Sinai PeninsulaEgypt's Volatile Sinai Peninsula
    x
    Egypt's Volatile Sinai Peninsula
    Egypt's Volatile Sinai Peninsula
    The region is awash with arms, smuggled from Libya and Sudan and with some - but not all - passing through tunnels to Gaza.

    Sameh Seif el Yazal is a retired general and security expert.

    "Some of it goes there, maybe to Syria after that, I don't know. But some of it is still in Egypt, used by whom, this is the question, and used when, that's another question," said el Yazal.

    Egyptian authorities say they recently disrupted a terror cell that received part of its training in northern Sinai camps, in preparation for attacks on domestic and foreign interests in Egypt.

    Yet enforcing security in Sinai is difficult because troop movements are limited by international agreement. Professor Christian Donath of American University in Cairo.

    "They have to bring sort of military assets into the Sinai, and this is a real problem from the standpoint of the treaty with Israel," said Donath.

    Even if authorities could act, some believe the current government has yet to take a stand that would hurt fellow Islamists in Gaza. El Yazal says efforts to close the tunnels are a case in point.

    "They damaged it very nicely and softly - in the sense that a couple of days after it was working again," he said.

    Yet some Islamists say they are trying to be part of the solution, pointing to their efforts to temper jihadi and other extremist views in Sinai.

    Safwat Abdel Ghani is with Gama'a al-Islamiya. The group renounced terror in the 1990s.

    "If it had not been our role and that of other Islamic movements that belong to the Salafis and the Brotherhood, such thoughts would have spread widely," said Ghani.

    But Abdel Ghani argues that “reasoning” with extremists is not enough to bring peace.

    Egypt's government must commit to greater political engagement as well as economic development to bring the people of northern Sinai back into the fold, he says. With resources countrywide stretched thin, Sinai is likely to remain beyond reach.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Samuel Prime from: Canada
    May 17, 2013 2:41 AM
    I think that Israel has on occasion allowed the Egyptian military to go into certain areas of the Sinai banned by the Peace Treaty in order to quell militants and terrorists in the Sinai. The lines of communication between Israel and Egypt's military are open for just such eventualities, as well as the interception of arms smuggling from Sudan, Iran, Syria and other rogue states whose aim is to destabilize the region and arm terror groups, including Hamas.

    by: ali baba from: new york
    May 16, 2013 9:03 PM
    hungry man is an angry man. Egypt has no food .islamist want the power to rub the country .Using religion as a cover up of the corruption .this policy will not work and eventually the starvation in Egypt make the harsh correction .thanks to the American policy maker whom they make the worst blunder in the history of politics by supporting Muslim brotherhood

    by: Nazarene Church from: USA
    May 16, 2013 6:28 PM
    the Egyptian wanted the Sinai as an act of humiliation for Israel... after having gotten their a s s kicked... Israel gave them the Sinai back because of American pressure... now the Sinai has become the dagger that cleaved the Egyptians heart... here is a beautiful poetic justice... and you did not believe in G-D... now the Egyptians are killing Christians... what will G-D have for them next I wonder...

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora