Egypt Media Roundup – Aug 15, 2014

08/15/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

 

Economy

The Egyptian Cabinet announced that in terms of 2012 exports, Egypt ranked highest among the member states in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) released a report on Egypt’s COMESA exports, stating that they rose to 26.8% in 2012 from 16% in 2011. The report also said that exports to African nations were limited, decreasing by 19.8% from 2011 to 2012. Overall trade between Egypt and African countries is still limited, making up only 5.2% of its exports. In contrast, Egypt’s exports to Arab countries amount to 30.2% of the overall total. The IDSC also reported that Egypt’s population was 82.1 million in 2013, with a 1.6% growth rate. [Egypt SIS] Read More…

Rights & Freedoms

Yara Sallam, an internationally recognized human rights activist and recipient of the North Africa Shield award, was arrested while buying water at a kiosk, writes Brian Dooley, Human Rights First Director of the Human Rights Defenders Program. Sallam who is currently held in Qanater Prison along with many other activists and journalists recently detained without evidence or reputable reasons. Sallam is awaiting her verdict on September 13, which Dooley writes is “unlikely to be fair.” [Huffington Post]

Security Sector

Following the demonstrations that took place across Egypt on the anniversary of the Rabaa sit-in dispersal, the Ministry of Interior confirmed that 114 people were arrested throughout the day and almost two dozen explosive devices were defused. Although death tolls vary, sources report that at least four protesters and one policeman were killed during clashes. The head of the Ambulance Authority said that the majority of the casualties resulted from gunshot wounds. State run news agency MENA also reported that 18 people were injured in four governorates.[Mada Masr, Ahram Online, Daily News EgyptRead More…

Foreign Relations

According to a senior Egyptian government official President Sisi’s visit to Saudi Arabia “touched on the continuation of aid” from the Gulf States to Egypt in the amount of $12billion to be released over several disbursements starting October. The same official stated that Egypt received a promise of a new financial assistance package from Gulf States to total $20billion which some Gulf States intend to announce in the “partners of Egypt Donor Conference” planned for early next year. Egypt has expressed its desire to receive parts of the aid, fuel products, immediately to address its energy supply shortages. The government source also revealed that the Egyptian government is aiming to collect $70billion in aid, investments, and loans in a development partners conference. [Al Masry Al Youm] [AR] Read More…

 

MORE STORIES

Economy

 Government will use investment certificates and Egyptian banks to fund Suez Canal project 

Mada Masr: Gov’t announces funding plan for Suez Canal project

In this article: In a press conference, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb announced the government’s plan to fund the new Suez Canal project through investment certificates and Egyptian banks. The Prime Minister held the press conference after a meeting with President Sisi, Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Hesham Ramez and the ministers of finance, international cooperation and investment. Mehleb announced that investment certificates in Egyptian pounds and US dollars would be issued through public sector banks, the CBE, the Banque du Caire and Ahly Bank over a period of 5 years, with a 12 percent interest rate cashed every 3 months. The government has set a target of 1.5million citizens to be given LE100 certificates.

Security Sector

 2 killed and police office injured in clash between MB supporters and security forces 

Al Ahram: 2 dead and one police officer injured in confrontation between Muslim brotherhood affiliates and security personnel in Giza [AR] — sara

In this article: Two people were killed and an officer was injured in Giza during a confrontation between security personnel and supporters of the ousted Muslim Brotherhood President, Muhammed Morsi. Security personnel have increased their numbers to control clashes and riots.

 Increased security across Egyptian cities ahead of Friday demonstrations in support of ousted President Morsi 

Shorouk News: Security Director of Asyut: Continuing state of alert till the end of the month…Brotherhood failed to crowd due to Egyptian’s “hate” for them [AR]

Shourouk news: Security forces disperse Morsi supports and arrest some of them in Alexandria [AR]

Shorouk news: Police and Army increase their presence in Cairo amid continued protests in support of Morsi [AR]

In these articles: As Friday protests throughout Egypt continue in support of ousted president Muhammed Morsi various cities in Egypt have increased security presence and measures to control crowds and confrontations. In the city of Asyut, the Security Director Major General Tariq Nasr has extended the  state of alert till the end of the month increasing security in front of “churches, monasteries, and public and private enterprises.” Nasr also added that security forces were able to disperse Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations without violence. In Alexandria, security forces dispersed two marches organized by supporters of former President Morsi and arrested a number of protestors, as increased security presence and patrols continue throughout the city.  And in Cairo there is an increased police and military presence today ahead of the planned demonstrations by Muslim Brotherhood members. Security forces have been deployed to key areas in Cairo and Giza as well as around Tahrir Square with an increased presence of security noted around Rabaa Square. Forces are also reportedly to patrol  the streets of Nasr City and Ain Shams.

 New militant group in Helwan threatens police and army officers in Youtube video 

Cairo Post: Video shows “militants” threatening police, army officers

Shourouk News: Minister of Interior calls for a formation of a team to study the group ‘Helwan Brigades’ and arrest those behind it [AR]

In these articles: A YouTube video of masked pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters threatening police officers went viral on Twitter and Facebook on the anniversary of the Rabaa dispersal. The group, calling itself the Brigades of Helwan, said in the video, “We previously said we were peaceful protesters but no one listened to us. They [police and army] have shed our blood and forced us to leave Egypt.” The group warned police across the country of being targeted and claimed that the Ministry of Interior forced them to carry weapons. They added that they would give their weapons to the army if the army did not continue to support the Interior Ministry. Ministry of Interior Special Operations Director Medhat Al-Minshawi said in a phone interview, “Prisons or graves are the fate of these armed terrorist groups, which recently appeared on networking sites, including Brigades of Helwan.” The Minister of Interior has called for the formed of a team to study and analyze the group’s statements and to arrest those behind the group.

 New youth group threaten attacks on police and army 

Al Masry Al Youm: The Brotherhood enters into armed resistance [AR]

El Badil: Youth announce “Popular Resistance Movement” and “unique operation” [Ar]

El Watan: Brotherhood youth establish “popular resistance group” against the army and police [Ar]

In these articles:  A new group calling itself the Popular Resistance Movement appeared on Egyptian social media, threatening attacks on the police and army. News of the group’s arrival spread through pages related to the Muslim Brotherhood, prompting speculation the founders were disaffected Brotherhood youth, but the group’s official pages do not make an explicit claim to that effect and the relationship cannot be confirmed. The Popular Resistance Movement’s Facebook page was shut down by site administrators the same day it spread widely, though the group’s page was created on January 25, 2014. The Movement claimed to have broadcast a message over a national radio network, but that has not been confirmed.

 Bombs knock down electricity pylon in Menoufia 

Aswat Masriya: Electricity pylon collapses following explosion

In this article: Two bombs exploded in Menoufia, knocking down an electricity pylon. A bomb squad defused two additional bombs following the explosion and security forces swept the area to ensure there were no other bombs.

Foreign Relations

 Assistant Foreign Minister for Neighboring Countries says Egypt will not intervene in Libya 

Al-Ahram Weekly: Egypt and the Libyan quagmire

In this article: According to Al-Ahram Weekly, Libya is “on the brink of collapse,” a regional crisis which has been high on President Sisi’s agenda during his visits to Algeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Following his meeting with President Putin, Sisi affirmed Russia’s intention to follow Egypt’s example and “refrain from intervention in Libyan affairs.” The Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister for Neighbouring Countries stated that “Egypt will not intervene in Libyan affairs.” While some analysts argue that intervention would be disastrous for both sides, an anonymous senior Libyan official disagreed. The same official told Al-Ahram Weekly that although “Egyptian intervention would have some negative repercussions,” it would be “outweighed by positive ones.” Namely, the Libyan official believes Egyptian intervention could foster the “creation of a solid force that could reverse the deteriorating security situation.”

 Algeria to provide “free passage” to Egyptians fleeing Libya, will arrange visas 

Ahram Online: Algeria to open borders to Egyptians fleeing Libya

In this article: Algeria announced that it will open its border with Libya for the free passage of Egyptians looking to flee escalating violence in the country. Egypt has already organized consistent flights for Egyptian refugees in Tunisia to return to Egypt. Egyptians can arrange their “exceptional” visas to Algeria by going to the nearest Algerian embassy whereupon a diplomatic commission will “facilitate” their travels to Algeria. Once in Algeria, fleeing Egyptians will be transferred to the nearest airport and flown out to Cairo.