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

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid