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

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid