Wednesday 23 August 2017
(The Associated Press 05/08/13)
GENEVA -- The U.N.'s top human rights official is urging Egypt's government to make sure that a draft law on civil groups doesn't allow a security crackdown on them. Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, says the draft law "risks placing civil society under the thumb of security ministries, which have a history of abusing human rights and an interest in minimizing scrutiny." She said Wednesday that a controversial constitutional referendum in December backed by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi also may give his government "excessive power over the judiciary" by letting him directly appoint the nation's highest judges. Pillay also says Egyptian prosecutors are not properly investigating serious human rights abuses such as slayings, torture, rape and...
(The Atlantic 05/08/13)
On January 25, during protests commemorating the two-year anniversary of the revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, human rights organizations received 19 reports of violent sexual assault. Attackers used blades to cut victims in at least two of these attacks, including on or near their genitals.Although these attacks were unusually severe, a vast majority of Egyptian women face other forms of sexual harassment every day. A report published in April by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality shows that 99 percent of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual harassment. The most common manifestation of harassment came in the form of touching, with 96 percent of women saying they've experienced it. These figures have risen since 2008,...
(The Associated Press 05/07/13)
CAIRO (AP) -- Nine new Egyptian ministers took oath of office on Tuesday before President Mohammed Morsi, bringing two new members of his Muslim Brotherhood into top economic posts in a limited Cabinet shuffle officials said was aimed at the country's financial woes and securing a much-needed international loan. But despite statements from Morsi's allies that claimed he wished to reach out to the other political blocs, the shuffle is unlikely to reduce Egypt's political polarization. The opposition said they were not consulted on the appointments that they say merely further the "Brotherhoodization" of Morsi's government. The shuffle, the second since Morsi took office in June last year, includes the finance, oil, planning and investment portfolios. It does not touch...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/07/13)
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi increased the influence of his Muslim Brotherhood over government in a reshuffle that replaced two ministers involved in crucial talks with the International Monetary Fund over a $4.8 billion loan. The changes fell well short of the opposition's demand for a complete overhaul of Prime Minister Hisham Kandil's administration and the installation of a neutral cabinet to oversee parliamentary elections later this year. It looked unlikely to help build the political consensus the IMF is seeking for reforms needed to secure a loan seen as vital to easing Egypt's deep economic crisis. The government is struggling to seal a deal that will bring austerity measures. Kandil, a technocrat appointed premier last year, named nine new ministers...
(The Economist 05/03/13)
President Muhammad Morsi’s efforts to befriend Iran upset his other allies. EVEN within his ruling circle, Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s president, has looked increasingly embattled and isolated since his slim electoral victory last June. More than half of his score of official advisers have abandoned him, along with his vice-president, his minister of justice and numerous sundry bureaucrats. On April 23rd Fuad Gadallah, his most senior legal adviser, angrily resigned, issuing a public letter that cited a lack of vision; failure to achieve revolutionary goals or to empower the Egyptian youth; failure to accommodate or even consult political opponents; and the overweening influence of Mr Morsi’s fellow Muslim Brothers in devising policy. Read the story on: http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21577117-president-...
(The New York Times 05/03/13)
CAIRO — More than two years after the Egyptian uprising, the country’s new Islamist government has struggled to confront a drop in tourism and the faltering economy. But the leadership has remained silent about another crucial indicator that has surged to a 20-year high: the country’s birthrate. In fact, officials have avoided public discussion about population and dropped the awareness campaigns of the past, in an early indication of how the Islamist leadership is approaching social policy in the most populous Arab state. Read the story on: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/world/middleeast/as-egypt-birthrate-ri...
(AL Jazeera 04/30/13)
Egypt has walked out of a round of global nuclear talks in protest at what it called the failure to implement a 1995 resolution for a Middle East as a zone free of nuclear weapons. A statement from Egypt's foreign ministry on Monday said the nation ended its participation in two weeks of Geneva talks out of frustration that the zone has yet to be created. The talks run through this week. "We can't wait forever for the implementation of this decision," said the ministry's statement on Monday night, explaining that Egypt's walkout was meant to send a message to the world that it can no longer accept what it considers to be a lack of seriousness on the issue...
(BBC News Africa 04/30/13)
Under the Mubarak regime, the state closely monitored all forms of political and religious expression in Egypt. Now all that has changed and millions are watching a proliferation of satellite TV channels. Shaimaa Khalil reports on the new voices in the second part of her series Egypt's Challenge. Talat Harb street is in the heart of central Cairo. It is just three minutes away from Tahrir Square where the Egyptian revolution erupted two years ago and it is where you will find one of Cairo's historic landmarks, the Cinema Radio building. Abandoned for years, the classic building has been refurbished and is the venue for the TV show of Egypt's most famous political satirist, Bassem Youssef. A heart surgeon by...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/30/13)
Economic development researchers on Monday unveiled a database of China's aid to Africa in an effort to work around Beijing's secrecy about the numbers, as a debate rages over the intentions and impact of Chinese assistance. The study and database by the Washington-based Center for Global Development and AidData, a research project, includes 1,673 Chinese development finance projects worth $75 billion in 50 African countries from the years 2000-2011. The Chinese figures, using standard measures of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Other Official Finance (OOF), are roughly on par with U.S. aid to Africa during the same period, the Center for Global Development said. While official ODA from Western countries and some major developing countries is openly reported and easily...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/13)
Egypt's ruling Muslim Brotherhood is trying to exact revenge on the judiciary for years of imprisonment and political exclusion, but is attacking the wrong target, opposition leader Amr Moussa said on Monday. The elder statesman told Reuters that Egypt faced an exceptional "to-be-or-not-to-be crisis" worse than after its 1967 defeat by Israel, and Islamist President Mohamed Mursi would do better to pursue national unity rather than division. Mursi appeared to back down when he agreed with senior judges on Sunday to seek a compromise on judicial reform instead of acting on proposals by his Islamist supporters to force more than 3,000 judges into retirement. Moussa, 76, a former Arab League secretary-general and Egyptian foreign minister, said the assault on judicial...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/26/13)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's Christians feel sidelined, ignored and neglected by Muslim Brotherhood-led authorities, who proffer assurances but have taken little or no action to protect them from violence, Coptic Pope Tawadros II said. In his first interview since emerging from seclusion after eight people were killed in sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians this month, the pope called official accounts of clashes at Cairo's Coptic cathedral on April 7 "a pack of lies". He also voiced dismay at attempts by President Mohamed Mursi's Islamist allies to purge thousands of judges appointed under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, saying the judiciary was a pillar of Egyptian society and should not be touched. "There is a sense of marginalization and rejection, which...
(AFP 04/25/13)
CAIRO: U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel urged Egypt’s Islamist-led government Wednesday to press ahead with reforms in a visit to Cairo designed to bolster America’s alliances in a region swept by upheaval. Hagel, who arrived in Cairo following a visit to Saudi Arabia, met with his Egyptian counterpart, Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, and President Mohammad Mursi. Egypt has been a cornerstone of regional U.S. influence since its 1979 peace treaty with Israel, but Washington has contended with a more head-strong government in Cairo after the 2011 overthrow of veteran president Hosni Mubarak. In his meeting with Sissi, Hagel “expressed U.S. support for political and democratic reforms in Egypt,” a senior U.S. defense official told reporters traveling with the secretary. Hagel “encouraged...
(Los Angeles Times 04/25/13)
President Mohamed Morsi has warned of conspiracies within his government. But some say he wants to simply replace the power structure with one loyal to him. President Mohamed Morsi casts himself as a leader navigating a landscape bristling with conspiracies by corrupt businessmen and shadowy figures plotting from inside a vast bureaucracy his Islamist inner circle has been unable to tame. While protesters march, workers strike, students rally and the economy is in a scary tailspin, the president's more serious nemesis may lie behind the scenes in what is known as the "deep state." The courts, police, army and intelligence agencies were shaped over decades by the secular rule of deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Many police and intelligence officials in...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/24/13)
CAIRO – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived here Wednesday for talks with top Egyptian officials, including President Morsi and top military officials. The day-long meetings come as Egypt struggles with economic and political instability. Hagel acknowledged these are "challenging times" for Egypt but that he believes Egypt will deal with them and reaffirmed U.S. defense ties, according to a senior defense official. Egypt receives billions in U.S. military aid. Hagel has been on a tour of the Mideast this week, where he also made stops in Jordan and Israel.
(Xinhuanet 04/23/13)
WASHINGTON, (Xinhua) -- International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Egyptian officials said Sunday that they were working to reach a loan deal in "coming weeks." The Egyptian authorities and the IMF "have made further progress in their discussions in Washington this weekend," said a joint statement from IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Egyptian finance officials. "The authorities are firmly committed to addressing Egypt's economic and financial challenges with the objective of restoring sustained and socially-balanced growth," it added. The two sides pledged to continue working "with the objective of reaching agreement on an IMF stand-by arrangement to support the authorities' national economic program in the coming weeks." On the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/22/13)
Russia will help Egypt develop its nuclear power program, Trade and Industry Minister Hatem Saleh said on Monday, signaling that the Islamist-led state will press ahead with its quest for atomic energy. Egypt froze its nuclear program after the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, but in 2006, the government of deposed President Hosni Mubarak announced it would revive the program. Five months before Mubarak was swept from power in February 2011, his administration announced plans for an international bidding process to build Egypt's first nuclear power station at Dabaa near the Mediterranean coast. The agreement on Russian support was reached during a visit to Russia by President Mohamed Mursi last week. "We spoke on this issue and agreed that the...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/22/13)
African finance ministers told their rich nation counterparts at weekend meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to work harder and faster to kick-start their economies to avoid a prolonged slump that could undermine strong growth in the developing world. "We are concerned," Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said at the meetings of global finance leaders. "If we continue to see slow growth in the euro zone, which provides a large market for many African countries, and is coupled with a slowdown in emerging economies, then we will become more vulnerable," Okonjo-Iweala told a news conference of African finance ministers. "We need to insist that our partners in other parts of the world work harder and faster." Despite...
(Sudan Tribune 04/19/13)
April 18, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Eritrean government said this week that it supports Egypt’s stance over a colonial-era treaty that granted Egypt a right to utilise the lions share of Nile river’s water resources. The Red Sea nation expressed its support in a message sent from the Eritrean president and delivered to Egypt’s president by Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs, Yemane Gebreab. The Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, has highly welcomed Eritrea’s position towards Egypt’s "historic rights" over the sharing of the water of the Nile River. Morsi said that he looks forward to meeting his Eritrean counterpart. Although Ethiopia is the source of 85% of the Nile’s water, downriver countries, Egypt and...
(Tanzania Daily News 04/19/13)
President Mohamed Morsi and Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr met with the Eritrean foreign minister Osman Saleh and the Eritrean presidential adviser for political affairs, Yamani Jabr, in Cairo on Monday to boost bilateral relations between the countries and discuss a number of regional and international issues. According to foreign ministry spokesperson Amr Roshdy, the two dignitaries addressed the growing problem of trafficking in African refugees through Egyptian territories. For the last two years, refugees and asylum-seekers, most of them Eritrean, have been kidnapped from refugee camps in Sudan and transported to the Sinai desert where they are held for ransom by Bedouin gangs, according to a recent Amnesty International report. In the report, Amnesty International called on all the countries...
(Newstime Africa 04/19/13)
Heeding the Muslim Brotherhood's call for protests, thousands of protesters gather in front of Cairo's High Court to demand 'judicial purge', hundreds protest at Alexandria's Sidi Gaber Square. Thousands of protesters have gathered in front of Egypt’s High Court on Friday to demand the cleansing of all state institutions of corrupt figures. The call to protest by the Muslim Brotherhood is also demanding the purging of the Egyptian judiciary, retrieving of Egypt's stolen funds, and holding to account those responsible for the killing of protesters during the January 25 Revolution. A big banner has been hung on one of the court’s gates, which reads "the people demand," listing the goals of the protest underneath it. Vendors are also selling the...

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