Friday 20 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
As Egypt votes in presidential elections, here are key events in the turbulent country since the 2011 uprising that ended the 30-year rule of strongman Hosni Mubarak. - 2011: Mubarak falls - - January 25: Thousands of Egyptians, inspired by the Tunisian revolt that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, protest in Cairo and elsewhere demanding Mubarak's overthrow. Police disperse them. - January 28: Protesters across the country clash with police as the government cuts mobile and internet networks. Demonstrators attack police stations and force security personnel to withdraw from the streets. Mubarak sacks his cabinet and deploys the army. - February 11: After days of non-stop protests centred on Cairo's Tahrir Square, Mubarak's newly appointed vice president Omar...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
Egypt, known worldwide for its ancient pyramids, is the Arab world's most populous country and has been under military control for decades. It is ruled by ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is assured of a second term in elections next week. Here is some background about the country. - Army's grip on power - After a period of British rule, Egypt gained independence in 1922 under King Fuad I. In 1952, charismatic army colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew Fuad's son, King Farouk. A republic was declared in 1953, headed by General Mohamed Naguib. Nasser became president in 1956, the same year the Suez Canal shipping lane was nationalised. After Nasser's death in 1970, his vice president Anwar Sadat --...
(AFP 03/24/18)
Dates-clés de l'Egypte depuis la révolte qui a chassé Hosni Moubarak du pouvoir en février 2011: - La révolution - Le 25 janvier 2011, début de manifestations massives contre Moubarak, au pouvoir depuis 1981. Dominée par des slogans demandant son départ, la contestation s'est inspirée de la révolte tunisienne qui, le 14 janvier 2011, a poussé à la fuite du président Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Le 1er février, plus d'un million de manifestants dans le pays. Marée humaine place Tahrir, au Caire, l'épicentre de la contestation. Le 11 février, Moubarak démissionne et remet ses pouvoirs au Conseil suprême des forces armées. La répression du soulèvement a fait au moins 850 morts. - Victoire islamiste - De novembre 2011 à...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
Qatar has blacklisted 20 people and eight organisations as "terrorist," nine months after finding itself isolated in the Gulf over alleged support for Islamist extremists and sympathisers. The list, published by the interior ministry late Wednesday, includes 12 Qatari nationals, two Saudi Arabians, four Egyptians and two Jordanians. The move comes nine months after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of bankrolling Islamist extremists and fostering ties with Saudi arch-rival Iran. Qatar has denied the allegations and says the Saudi-led bloc aims to incite regime change in the emirate, the world's richest country per capita. Saudi Arabia and its allies months ago unveiled a "terrorist" list of 90...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
In the Egyptian village of Abu Shosha, far south of Cairo, residents hit hard by economic hardships are planning to vote for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in elections starting on Monday. "We only began to feel safe after Sisi" became president and boosted security, said Tarek Mohamed Hafez, a cattle trader in his 40s. Dressed in a striped traditional galabeya gown, he was selling cows at the weekly cattle market in the village, in Qena province 650 kilometres (400 miles) south of the capital. "We didn't have any kind of security," he said, standing amid makeshift shelters held up by wooden sticks to provide shade. "Women couldn't even move to go to a doctor." Hafez was talking about the period...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects for greater African integration. However, the agreement will still have to be ratified at a national level, and is only due to come into force in 180 days. The full list of countries which did not sign the agreement is...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Egyptians on Wednesday to vote in next week's election to show they are in charge, a day after he denied any role in excluding his rivals. The incumbent will stand in the March 26-28 vote against a sole candidate whose half-hearted campaign poses no threat, after more heavyweight rivals were sidelined or detained. "I need you because the journey is not over," Sisi told a mostly female audience in a speech. "I need every lady and mother and sister, please, I need the entire world to see us in the street" voting. "Even if they vote 'no'. It's still a big deal and a respectable thing which will be implemented... We should affirm to the...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
On the streets of Cairo's Shubra district, many Coptic Christians -- but not all -- say they will support President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in his re-election bid on Monday. Pro-Sisi banners hang overhead in the neighbourhood where many Copts reside, often showing the president standing alongside Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II. "There is no other man like him... at the moment," Edward Tawfik, a 60-year-old who runs a coffee shop in the area, told AFP as his customers smoked water pipes and played backgammon. Sisi, who as defence minister led the 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, was elected in 2014. Many Christians say he rescued the country by ousting Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, following massive...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Teacher Abdelrahman Ali wonders if he will be able to afford diapers for the second child his wife is expecting. He can no longer put meat on the dinner table and has to borrow money from his mother-in-law as hard times bite in Egypt. Ali and other middle class Egyptians - the social backbone of successive governments - are bracing for more hardship after an election next week widely expected to give President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a second term. “With our first pregnancy, we bought all we needed to prepare ... but this time around, we’re leaving it in the hands of God. It’s very difficult,” said Ali, who teaches Arabic at a private school. Sisi’s only...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
The army's ouster of Egypt's first democratically elected civilian president, Mohamed Morsi, in July 2013 led to a general clampdown under the regime of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Here is a summary. - Carnage in Cairo - On August 14, 2013 security forces move in on two pro-Morsi protest camps where thousands of Islamists have for six weeks been demanding the reinstatement of the ousted ex-leader, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood. Pro-Morsi mobs attacked police stations and Christian properties across the country and more than 40 policemen were killed. At least 700 people die in what Human Rights Watch calls "one of the largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history" in Egypt. A day later the...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
Arab leaders are set to meet in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, on April 15, Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit told reporters in Cairo on Tuesday. The Arab League's general secretariat received "an official notification" from Saudi Arabia to confirm the meeting, Abul Gheit told reporters at the organisation's headquarters in Cairo. The summit was originally slated for the end of March, its usual annual date. But Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Cairo and delegate to the Arab League Ahmed Qattan said earlier this month the timing needed to change to accommodate Egypt's March 26-28 presidential elections.
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
As banners supporting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's bid for a second term fill Cairo's streets, some who participated in the 2011 democratic uprising say they will boycott this month's "predetermined" elections. "It's been a downwards slippery slope since the last presidential elections (in 2014): nothing is improving," said Sami, who took part in the January 2011 uprising which toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak. Sisi, as defence minister, led the July 2013 ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi following mass protests against his divisive one-year rule. Now, Sisi is seeking another term in the March 26-28 elections, running against Moussa Mostafa Moussa, a candidate who had previously expressed...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
Egypt's administrative court issued a ruling on Tuesday stopping the operations of ride sharing apps Uber and Careem, state media reported. Both services had sparked protests by taxi drivers who complained that the drivers did not need to pay the hefty fees to operate transportation vehicles. The court accepted a petition by a lawyer demanding the government stop licensing Uber and Careem activities in Egypt, including their online applications, state-owned newspaper al-Ahram reported on its website. The lawyer representing taxi drivers, Khaled al-Gamal, told AFP that the ruling would have to be implemented...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
An Egyptian theatre group said a play it had cancelled after state censors demanded scenes be removed would go ahead after authorities reconsidered their stance. "Before the Revolution", by playwright and independent theatre director Ahmed El Attar, was meant to open this week at the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) but was cancelled on Sunday after censors demanded five scenes be removed. However, the festival's website said late Monday that permission had finally been granted to hold the play starting on Tuesday "without the disruption of its dramatic construction." The play depicts events in Egypt in the run-up to the 2011 uprising that ousted veteran president Hosni Mubarak. The controversy came days before the March 26-28 presidential election. President Abdel...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
Egypt striker Amr Gamal has quit reigning South African champions Wits after failing to make an impact, lessening his chances of featuring at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Wits coach Gavin Hunt on Tuesday confirmed the early end to a one-year loan deal, saying: "Amr is a good footballer, but I thought he would settle in much quicker. "I understand he is joining a Finnish club (HJK Helsinki) on loan and we wish him the best of luck there." After a promising start, the goals dried up for the first Egyptian to play for a South African club and recently he could not even make the 18-man matchday squads of the Johannesburg club. The inactivity led to Gamal being...
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hosted his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir for talks in Cairo on Monday, with the pair pledging to boost cooperation after tensions between their neighbouring countries. Bashir's visit comes two weeks after the reinstatement of Sudan's ambassador to Cairo following his recall to Khartoum in January. Ties deteriorated between Egypt and Sudan last year when Bashir accused Egypt's intelligence services of supporting opposition forces fighting his troops in the country's conflict zones like Darfur. One bone of contention is Egypt's administration of the Halayeb triangle...
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
Egypt's military said Monday that 36 jihadists, an officer and three soldiers were killed over five days during a sweeping operation against Islamic State group militants in the Sinai. The army launched the campaign on February 9 after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is standing in elections this month for a second term, gave it a three-month deadline to crush IS in the Sinai. Security forces "eliminated 30 armed takfiri elements during a shootout with raiding forces" in the northern and central Sinai Peninsula, the military said in a statement. A police shootout also left six "takfiri elements" dead and destroyed "an extremely...
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
In Cairo's El-Gamaleya neighbourhood where Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi grew up, residents reeling from rising prices plan to support the incumbent in this month's presidential election despite economic woes. "I still love him and my trust in him doesn't have a limit," said Mohammed el-Aswad, 46, the owner of a small sock factory next to Sisi's childhood home. Like Aswad, many residents of the working class neighbourhood in the heart of the capital's old city say they will vote to reelect the president in polls set for March 26-28. The outcome of the election appears set in stone. Sisi, 63, does not face any serious competition, as most of the rival candidates either withdrew or were arrested. His only...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/18)
With Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the cusp of winning a second term in this month's election, what's left of the opposition is reduced to praying he will step aside in four years. There is little else his critics can realistically hope for after Sisi eviscerated his opposition in his first term. In the run up to the March 26-28 election, a succession of would-be candidates were abruptly sidelined like doomed characters in an Agatha Christie novel. "Watch out. That stuff that happened seven or eight years ago (the 2011 democratic uprising) will not happen again in Egypt... it looks like you really don't know me well. Ha ha," Sisi said in a January speech after his latest rival,...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/18)
Egypt's national carrier EgyptAir said Friday it would resume direct flights between Cairo and Moscow, three years after they were halted following the bombing of a Russian charter jet over the Sinai. The announcement came three days after Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot said it would restart flights between the two capitals from April 11. EgyptAir flights are set to resume the following day. Both companies suspended the route in October 2015 after an airliner operated by Russia's Kogalymavia, carrying holidaymakers from the south Sinai resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, crashed, killing all 224 people on board. The Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group claimed the attack. Safwat Musallam, head of EgyptAir Holding, said on Friday the carrier planned to operate...

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