| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Daily News Egypt 02/10/17)
Seminar pointed at Muslim Brotherhood group's influence. President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Thursday attended a cultural seminar, held by the armed forces, discussing how “forces of evil” draw up strategies aimed at destroying the Egyptian state and inciting public opinion against it. The parliamentary speaker, the prime minister, a number of army officials, and ministers were also present. During the session, political analyst Abdel Moneem Saeed elaborated on those evil powers’ plans, mainly pointing fingers at the Muslim Brotherhood group. “They have two strategies; the first one is using militant groups to terrorise people on the ground, while the second one is using media outlets to distort the image of the state,” he said. Saeed mentioned as an example, that...
(Voice of America 02/10/17)
Egyptian officials are buoyed by media reports that U.S. President Donald Trump is considering designating as a terrorist organization the Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational Islamist movement Egypt's general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has been urging Washington to proscribe for the past three years. They say it is the first fruit in improving relations between Washington and Cairo, and that they hope the Trump administration will ease rights-related conditions introduced under former president Barack Obama on the $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid Egypt receives each year. Liberal and Islamist activists as well as international rights groups are alarmed, fearing that the Trump administration will entirely shelve human rights concerns in the name of the war on terror. The Egyptian government has been...
(Xinhuanet 02/10/17)
An Egyptian court sentenced on Thursday a former irrigation minister for seven years in prison over corruption related to illegal sales of agricultural lands for construction, official MENA news agency reported. Giza Criminal Court convicted both former Irrigation Minister Mohamed Nasr El-Din Allam and fugitive businessman Ahmed Abdel-Salam Qura of selling vast areas of agricultural lands in Giza's Ayyat district for construction, wasting public funds of over 37 billion Egyptian pounds (about 2 billion U.S. dollars). The court handed each a seven-year jail term. The case is part of a large anti-corruption campaign launched by Egypt over the past few years that led to the arrest and imprisonment of several officials and senior employees and the retrieval of large amounts...
(Xinhuanet 02/10/17)
The Egyptian pound recently saw recovery due to, among other things, a significant rise of remittances from expatriate Egyptians and increased confidence of foreign investors in the country's banking system. According to a statement of the Central Bank of Egypt, the U.S. dollar, down from 18.80 pounds last week, was bought for about 17.70 at most banks on Thursday, the lowest rate in the past month. The average dollar-pound exchange rate in the black markets on Friday has declined to 17.40 on Friday, after it hit 19 earlier in the week, said Fathy Malak, the owner of a foreign exchange company in Cairo. REASONS FOR POUND RISE "Rising remittances from expatriate Egyptians is a main reason for pumping more dollars...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first choice for regular Champions League entrants Coton Sport from northern Cameroon cotton town Garoua. Coton qualified for the 2008 final, losing to Al Ahly of Egypt, but have fared poorly recently with first round exits in the past two seasons...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/17)
The Islamic State group said on Thursday that it was responsible for rocket fire on the Israeli resort of Eilat from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. "Thanks to God alone, a military platoon fired several Grad rockets yesterday" towards Eilat, the jihadists' Egyptian affiliate said in a statement circulated on social media. The Israeli army said Wednesday evening's rocket fire did not cause any casualties. Three rockets were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome air defence system and a fourth fell short of the town. IS has waged a deadly insurgency against Egyptian security forces in the Sinai but attacks on Israel from Egyptian territory are rare. In 2011, assailants who came from the Sinai killed eight Israelis in a triple ambush north...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/17)
The Egyptian authorities on Thursday closed the offices of a prominent human rights group that helps victims of violence and torture, the organisation and a police official said. El Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and Violence in Cairo offers psychological rehabilitation to victims of abuses including sexual assault. "About 15 policemen in official uniform with a group of civilians sealed three apartments in the building belonging to El Nadeem," co-founder Aida Seif Elldawla told AFP by phone. "We didn't violate any rules and the government has not provided any reasons for its closure decision," said Seif Elldawla, adding that the centre had filed a lawsuit against the order. A policeman said the centre had been closed...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/17)
An Israeli air strike killed two Palestinians on the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza early Thursday following rocket fire from the area into Israel, the territory's Islamist rulers Hamas said. Israel denied it had carried out any strikes over the border into Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula in response to the rockets, which caused no casualties. The spokesman of Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry, Ashraf al-Qudra, named the two men killed as Hossam al-Sufi, 24, and Mohammed al-Aqra, 38. Their deaths came just hours after a volley of rockets fired from the Sinai targeted the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat, a rare assault from Egypt, which is one of just two Arab states that have signed a peace treaty...
(Standard Digital 02/09/17)
Hundreds of business and political personalities yesterday attended a German-African economic summit in Nairobi, where German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller talked about his “Marshall Plan” for Africa. The plan is “with Africa, not for Africa,” Mueller (pictured) said, stressing that it would be based on cooperation between equals rather than the principles of traditional development aid. The plan, which Mueller presented to the German parliament’s development committee on Wednesday, is based on fair trade conditions, investment and increasing aid for educational projects. One of the goals of the plan, which the German opposition received with scepticism, is to curb migratory flows from Africa to Europe. Mueller called on German companies to focus on Africa, which he...
(Xinhuanet 02/08/17)
The Israeli parliamentary approval of a law legalizing settlements in the West Bank undermines the two-state solution and obstructs peacemaking efforts between the Israeli and the Palestinian sides, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. Earlier on Monday, the Knesset, Israel's parliament, approved the so-called "Regulation Bill" that retroactively legalizes about 3,850 housing units in dozens of outposts built illegally on privately owned Palestinian lands. "The bill is considered an establishment of the illegal status of settlements in violation of international laws and conventions as well as the UN Security Council's relevant resolutions," Egyptian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in the statement. He added that such unilateral measures would obstruct the peacemaking efforts to revive...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated. Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria,...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/17)
Egypt on Tuesday applauded US President Donald Trump's claims that Western media outlets have deliberately not reported on "terrorist" attacks. Trump accused the media on Monday of disregarding attacks by radical jihadists, in a provocative statement for which he provided no evidence. In Cairo, a statement by foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid "hailed the US administration stance" criticising "the Western media's coverage of some terrorist attacks around the world". He said his statement addressed "the White House release of a list of 78 terror attacks (9 of which were in Egypt) which Western media ignored in a clear bias". Trump accused the media of downplaying the threat that his administration cites to justify its ban on travellers from seven...
(BBC News Africa 02/07/17)
As President Donald Trump tries to re-instate his controversial travel ban, there is one thing he does not need to worry about - any opposition from Egypt. When President Trump decided to temporarily close America's borders to citizens of seven mainly Muslim nations, the response from Cairo was striking. The Arab world's most populous nation made its silence felt. Egypt's hardline leader, and his supporters, are on the Trump train. President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was the first Arab leader to congratulate Mr Trump on his election victory. The bromance began at their first meeting in New York last September
(Bloomberg 02/07/17)
Egypt plans to import as many as 108 cargoes of liquefied natural gas this year as the country prepares to start producing at two gas fields and move closer to its goal of self-sufficiency and even exports by 2019. The North African nation will import 100 to 108 LNG shipments this year, including 43 to 45 cargoes in government-to-government contracts from Oman, Russia’s Rosneft PJSC and France’s Engie SA, according to a person familiar with the matter. The remaining imports will be arranged through a tender to be announced in November, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Imports may be reduced in 2018 as BP Plc’s North Alexandria concession works to start...
(RT 02/07/17)
Egypt’s High Constitutional Court has ruled that Christian civil servants should be entitled to the same rights as Muslims, who receive a stipend to go on the Hajj. “The ruling is a major step towards full citizenship rights for Egyptian Christians,” Naguib Gabriel, a lawyer who waged a three-year legal battle to win the decision, told national daily Ahram. The judges announced on Saturday that the allowance established in 1978 for a one-off visit to Mecca and Medina unconstitutionally excludes Christians. Egypt’s current constitution, which was approved in a referendum in 2014, is relatively secular compared to the Muslim Brotherhood-authored document it replaced, and stipulates equal rights for all religions. Over ten percent of Egypt’s 93 million people are estimated...
(The Independent 02/07/17)
Top Islamic authority contradicts recommendation made by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi in rare rejection of leader’s wishes. The top Islamic authority in Egypt, which must be consulted on all constitutional matters, has unanimously rejected a proposed reform to end Muslim men’s ability to divorce their wives without going through a court of law. On Sunday, the Council of Senior Clerics in Al-Azhar – the highest authority in Sunni Islam – rejected President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi's suggestion that Egypt should end the practice in a rare rebuttal of the goverment. While the Egyptian constitution guarantees both genders face equal treatment before the law, contradictory personal status legislation means that women are still severely discriminated against in courtrooms and Egyptian society more generally. Under...
(The New York Times 02/07/17)
After January 2011, Tahrir Square became a byword for hope, defiance and the unpredictability of history. The Egyptian people’s unexpected revolt baffled political scientists and other experts. Equally puzzling was the alacrity with which so many of the same Egyptians welcomed a new strongman a few short years later. Egypt’s volte-face forces important questions about what kind of change is possible in the Arab world, and more universally, about the indiscriminate and violent nature of both revolutionary and authoritarian politics. Why were so many Egyptians willing to risk everything in 2011, and why, just two years later in July 2013, were so many willing to make another devil’s bargain with a despot? “Generation Revolution” is a whodunit that seeks to...
(BBC News Africa 02/07/17)
Egypt coach Hector Cuper has been assured he has the full support of the Egyptian Football Association after losing the Africa Cup of Nations final. The Pharaohs were beaten 2-1 by Cameroon on Sunday. "He will stay as head coach, we like what he is doing with the team," said EFA president Hany Abo Rida. "We are in a good place in World Cup qualification and we dream we can reach the tournament in Russia in 2018. We all support him." Egypt are top of Group E after two games and Cuper has already instilled in his team what is required to reach a major tournament. By taking the Pharaohs to the Nations Cup in Gabon he ended a six-year...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/17)
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir accused the Egyptian government of harbouring and backing Sudanese opposition figures fighting his troops, in remarks broadcast on Sunday. In his first such accusation against Cairo, Bashir said in an interview broadcast by Al-Arabiya that Sudanese opposition figures were "backed by Egyptian intelligence services". "We raise this issue every time when we meet Egyptian officials," said Bashir. Sudanese troops are fighting rebels in three conflict regions -- Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. "Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is a good man and he is my friend, but it's the Egyptian intelligence that I am accusing," he said. "I'm not accusing President Sisi. I'm accusing the regime." Bashir also denied allegations that Khartoum was hosting several...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/17)
Vincent Aboubakar came off the bench to score a stunning winner with two minutes left as Cameroon fought back from behind to beat Egypt 2-1 in a thrilling Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday. Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny had given Egypt the lead midway through the first half and Egypt looked to be on course to win an unrivalled eighth Cup of Nations crown in their first appearance at the tournament since 2010. But Nicolas Nkoulou, who had come off the bench in the first half, headed in the equaliser just before the hour mark and fellow substitute Aboubakar slammed in the winner in the 88th minute.

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