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CrisisWatch Database

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Egypt

  |  1 Jun 2016

Unchanged
EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo crashed in Mediterranean Sea 19 May, all 66 on board believed dead; investigators have not ruled out terror attack. President Sisi 4 May extended state of emergency in N Sinai for three months: roadside bomb in N Sinai 21 May killed three soldiers; army 25 May said at least 85 militants killed in previous four days in Sinai. Gunmen 8 May killed eight police in Helwan district, S Cairo; both Islamic State (IS) and revolutionary Islamist movement Popular Resistance claimed responsibility, fight between local police and Bedouins also reported as possible cause of attack. Court 14 May sentenced prominent activist Sanaa Seif to six months’ jail for insulting judiciary. Another court 15 May sentenced to up to five years’ prison over 150 people of at least 1,200 who 25 April protested against Sisi’s rule and return of islands in Gulf of Aqaba to Saudi Arabia. Opposition remains in disarray; Social Democratic Party threatened to splinter after founder resigned early May. Court 30 May sentenced Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide and 35 other people to life in prison for “inciting violence” in north in 2013.

Egypt

  |  2 May 2016

Unchanged
Italy 8 April withdrew ambassador to protest authorities’ lack of collaboration investigating killing of Italian student Giulio Regeni whose body was found Feb with signs of torture, urged other EU members to press Egypt on case. Reuters 21 April reported that security services had detained Regeni 25 Jan, contradicting previous denial by Egyptian officials that he had been in custody. Saudi King Salman, French President Hollande, U.S. Sec State Kerry and others visited during month, pledged security support. Govt’s 9 April announcement that it would hand over to Saudi Arabia two strategic Red Sea islands as kingdom pledged $20bn aid and investment package sparked public indignation; demonstrators 15 April called for “downfall of regime” in largest protests since 2013, authorities 25 April dispersed crowds with teargas. Lawyers 23 April said dozens of anti-govt activists arrested since 21 April. Violence in Sinai continued: at least six soldiers and one civilian killed 7 April in two roadside bomb blasts, Islamic State claimed responsibility; four soldiers killed in ambush 9 April.

Egypt

  |  1 Apr 2016

Unchanged
President Sisi 22 March convened emergency security meeting, called for complete coordination between army and police after recent uptick in militant attacks in N Sinai, where incidents included: two members of security forces and medic killed in ambush 6 March; roadside bomb killed two police 7 March; at least five soldiers killed in attack on base 16 March; fifteen police killed and three reportedly taken hostage 19 March in attack claimed by Islamic State (IS) affiliate. Security forces registered some successes, including: 20 suspected militants reported killed in airstrike 1 March; fighter jets 9 March targeted IS affiliate training camp, leaving seventeen dead. Egyptian-led committee investigating Oct 2015 crash of Russian passenger plane in Sinai said it was referring case to Egypt’s attorney general, giving first indication it suspects plane was brought down intentionally. PM Sherif Ismail 23 March announced cabinet reshuffle, ten new ministers including finance and investment sworn in; govt 27 March presented program of economic and other reforms to parliament, said any spending cuts will be accompanied by protection net for poor. Central Bank mid-March devalued Egyptian pound 15%; move welcomed by many to fight black market trading, but concerns about impact on inflation. Judicial commission 18 March ordered freezing assets of four rights activists, including investigative journalist Hossam Bahgat and lawyer Gamal Eid, on charges they received $1.5mn from foreign parties; Cairo Criminal Court 24 March postponed decision to 20 April. UN human rights chief 23 March expressed grave concern over prosecutions of human rights defenders and shutdown of civil society.

Egypt

  |  1 Mar 2016

Unchanged

Hundreds protested outside Cairo security directorate 18 Feb after policeman shot dead civilian; policeman held responsible reportedly detained. Thousands of doctors 12 Feb protested against police abuses following accusations policemen beat two doctors in Cairo 28 Jan. Missing Italian student found dead outside Cairo 3 Feb with signs of torture; interior minister 8 Feb denied allegations security forces responsible. President Sisi 19 Feb told interior minister to crack down on police abuse. In first address to new parliament Sisi 13 Feb praised transition but noted problems including slow economy and extremism. In 24 Feb speech Sisi railed against “unjustified” media criticism of govt, said national unity, not democracy, should be priority. Two suspected militants killed in police raid in Cairo 3 Feb; police 7 Feb shot dead four suspected members of militant group Ajnad Misr near Cairo. Gunmen 16 Feb opened fire on checkpoint in southern Cairo, one policeman killed. Health ministry 17 Feb ordered closure of prominent human rights organisation for allegedly violating permit; prominent rights activist Hossam Bahgat banned from traveling 23 Feb. Court 3 Feb overturned death sentences for 149 Muslim Brotherhood supporters, ordered retrial.

Egypt

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged
Parliament 10 Jan convened first session since June 2012, marking official completion of transitional roadmap announced July 2013. Independents form majority of seats reserved for individual candidates, with 318 of 448 seats; 67 seats for largest party Free Egyptians. 120 seats reserved for party-based lists all went to pro-regime “For the Love of Egypt” coalition. Some independent candidates initially refused to swear constitutional oath of loyalty because it praised Jan 2011 revolution, prompting controversy. Parliament set to review hundreds of laws issued by executive decree since July 2013; approved some controversial laws including counter-terrorism law, passed 17 Jan. Violence continued in N Sinai as phase two of counter-insurgency campaign launched early Jan: unidentified attackers fired at police 20 Jan killing five; militants and soldiers clashed 14 Jan, four soldiers and 30 militants reported killed; three police killed by IED 19 Jan; four children killed in fighting 28 Jan; roadside bomb killed two security officials 31 Jan. President Sisi expressed displeasure at non-implementation of development and economic assistance for Sinai early Jan; assured visiting CIA chief John Brennan that Egypt fully in control of peninsula. Attacks in tourist areas in Cairo and Hurghada by Red Sea, where two tourists wounded by gunmen 8 Jan, and three tourists stabbed 9 Jan. Bomb attack 21 Jan killed six including three police in Giza, Muslim Brotherhood blamed. One police, one soldier killed near Cairo 10 Jan; IS claimed responsibility. Heavy security deployed ahead of 25 Jan anniversary of 2011 uprising ending Mubarak’s rule and protests severely curtailed amid crackdown on activists. 

Egypt

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Criticisms of security officials’ brutality continued: protests erupted in Luxor following death of man in police custody 1 Dec; President Sisi 3 Dec promised punishment of guilty police officers; nine police arrested 6 Dec in connection with case; two police officers 12 Dec convicted of torturing lawyer accused of links to Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to death in Feb. One soldier killed, four wounded in explosion after military vehicle hit IED in N Sinai 6 Dec; Islamic State affiliate “Sinai Province” claimed responsibility. Army 27 Dec announced security forces killed two suspected militants in N Sinai. Egyptian investigators 14 Dec reported no proof of terrorism behind Russian plane crash in 31 Oct in Sinai. Sisi 31 Dec called for new parliament elected late 2015 to assemble on 10 Jan in 2016, first time since old Islamist-dominated parliament dissolved mid-2012. At least twelve killed, six wounded after firebomb thrown into restaurant in Cairo 4 Dec. Court 3 Dec overturned death sentence and ordered retrial of MB leader Mohamed Badie and 36 co-defendants. 120 supporters of former President Morsi sentenced 7 Dec to two years in prison for rioting in 2013. Researcher Ismail Alexandrani arrested 2 Dec, charged for spreading false news; Committee to Protect Journalists 15 Dec recorded more journalists arrested in 2015 than previous years. Govt 3 Dec opened borders with Gaza strip, following months of closure.

Egypt

  |  1 Dec 2015

Unchanged

Second and final round of parliamentary elections held 22-23 Nov amid poor voter turnout and boycott by key opposition parties; “For the Love of Egypt” coalition again expected to win all of the 20% of seats reserved for party lists. Violence in Sinai province continued: suicide bomber and vehicle packed with explosives killed at least four police officers and wounded at least five civilians in N Sinai 4 Nov, Islamic State (IS) affiliate “Sinai Province” (SP) claimed responsibility; at least three killed and fourteen wounded by car bomb explosion outside hotel housing election judges in N Sinai 24 Nov, SP claimed responsibility; SP leader Ashraf Gharabli reportedly killed in shootout in Cairo 9 Nov. Six Sudanese migrants killed, seventeen wounded during clash between security forces and smugglers 23 Nov in N Sinai. Gunmen attack on police checkpoint killed four security personnel 28 Nov in Saqqara; militant group affiliated to IS claimed responsibility. UK, U.S. and Russia early and mid-Nov suggested bomb explosion brought down Russian plane in 31 Oct crash in Sinai, Egyptian authorities yet to reveal conclusions. Prior to UK visit President Sisi in BBC interview 4 Nov suggested outlawed Muslim Brotherhood could have role in public life. Prominent journalist and rights activist Hossam Bahgat detained by military 8-10 Nov, released after international outcry but could still be charged for disseminating false news.

Egypt

  |  2 Nov 2015

Unchanged
First round of long-delayed parliamentary elections held 18-19 Oct, second round scheduled for 22-23 Nov. Low voter turnout of 26.56% reported. President Sisi’s “For the Love of Egypt” electoral list took all 60 seats allocated to party list system; “Call of Egypt” list 24 Oct withdrew from elections, said will challenge first round results at Supreme Administrative Court. Run-offs for individual seats held 27-28 Oct, pro-Sisi parties did well while sole Islamist party al-Nour fared poorly. Security operations and militant attacks continued in Sinai province: security forces 25 Oct said at least 25 militants killed in joint “Martyr’s right” military-police operation in N Sinai; gunmen 25 Oct killed Al-Nour parliamentary candidate in Al-Arish, N Sinai; at least two killed, six conscripts injured 14 Oct in bombing in Al-Arish; three fighters from pro-govt militia reportedly kidnapped, two wounded 15 Oct in attack on checkpoint near Sheikh Zuweid town by Islamic State (IS) affiliate “Sinai Province”. Interior Ministry 23 Oct announced arrest of Hassan Malik, senior Muslim Brotherhood leader and businessman, for “exacerbating the instability of the dollar exchange rate”. Court 12 Oct ordered release of former President Mubarak’s sons, arrested after 2011 uprising and sentenced to three years’ prison for embezzlement.

Egypt

  |  1 Oct 2015

Unchanged
Govt of PM Mohammed Mehleb resigned en masse 12 Sept following corruption scandal; former Oil Minister Sherif Ismail appointed as new PM. Preparations underway for Oct and Nov parliamentary elections: Love of Egypt party list comprising most major political parties expected to take most of 120 seats reserved for party lists; observers predict competition between rival pro-regime factions and concentrated around, other 448 seats reserved for individual candidacies. President Sisi 27 Sept said Egypt in “ferocious war” with terrorists. Military operations against Islamist militants in Sinai continued: two police killed, sixteen injured 26 Sept in attack claimed by Islamic State. Twelve killed, including eight Mexican tourists, by army helicopter attack in western Wahat region 12 Sept, raising questions about country’s campaign against terrorism. Interior Ministry 25 Sept said security forces killed nine suspected terrorists near Cairo who were planning attacks to coincide with Eid al-Adha. Sisi 23 Sept pardoned and released some 100 prisoners including two Al Jazeera journalists jailed for disseminating “false news”.

Egypt

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Govt 17 Aug passed counter-terrorism legislation giving police greater powers of detention and surveillance, criminalising public statements contradicting defence ministry; law widely condemned by rights organisations. Law also introduced punishments for public or private expressions of support for certain crimes. U.S. Sec State Kerry visited early Aug for security talks, warned success fighting terrorism depended on respect for human rights, trust between authorities and public. Counter-terrorist operations continued to intensify in North Sinai as militant attacks continued; multiple bombing attempts against security forces in al-Arish foiled early Aug. Islamic State-Sinai Province (SP) militants 13 Aug kidnapped and beheaded Croatian engineer in Cairo; bomb explosion claimed by SP targeting security facility in Cairo 19 Aug wounded at least 30. Two policemen killed, 24 wounded by roadside bomb targeting bus carrying conscripts in Beheria Province 24 Aug. President Sisi mid-Aug announced formation of Supreme Electoral Committee for upcoming parliamentary elections; Committee 30 Aug announced two-stage polls scheduled for 19-18 Oct and 22-23 Nov. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leader Mohamed Badie and several other MB members sentenced 22 Aug to life in prison for murder and inciting violence, in connection to 2013 attack on police station in Port Said. Three Al Jazeera journalists convicted of “spreading false news”, sentenced to three years’ prison 29 Aug.

Egypt

  |  3 Aug 2015

Deteriorated

Militant attacks continued to rise ahead of 3 July anniversary of former President Morsi's 2013 overthrow and following late June assassination of general prosecutor: at least 100 militants, seventeen soldiers reportedly killed 1 July in major clashes and attack on military checkpoints and town of Sheikh Zuwayed in North Sinai; Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) Egyptian affiliate “Sinai Province” claimed responsibility. Authorities countered 2 July launching airstrikes against militants, 19 July said 59 militants killed in previous two days as part of ongoing campaign. IS claimed 16 July strike on naval ship near Sharm al-Sheikh. Govt 25 July extended state of emergency in N Sinai by three months. Italian consulate in Cairo bombed 11 July; one killed, nine injured. At least six killed mid-month in clashes between security services and demonstrators protesting in support of ousted President Morsi and banned Muslim Brotherhood. Cabinet early July drafted law criminalising reporting of terrorism statistics that contradict govt figures; widely criticised as attack on free speech. President Sisi 9 July signed new electoral law, removing final block to delayed parliamentary elections expected to be held by year-end.

Egypt

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Death sentence against deposed president and former Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leader Mohamed Morsi confirmed by Cairo Criminal Court 16 June; judge used politically charged language, described MB as “diabolical”. Apparent unwillingness of President Sisi’s administration to consider leniency stoking radicalisation of younger MB members; MB leadership in exile 17 June voiced concern ongoing repression of group pushing some members toward violence. Uncertainty over long-postponed elections continued: citing “political crisis”, former MB and current presidential candidate for Strong Egypt Party Abou al-Fatouh 18 June proposed holding early presidential elections, transfer of power from Sisi to consensual PM and release of political prisoners; proposal broadly dismissed but marks strongest critique yet of Sisi’s performance by mainstream political figure. Top public prosecutor killed 29 June in car bomb attack in Cairo; President Sisi 30 June said will strengthen anti-terror laws. Ongoing violence in Sinai: military continued counter-terrorism campaign, imposition of severe constraints on NE Sinai including stopping food provisions from reaching area early June. 22 suspected militants killed in N Sinai army raid 22 June, at least eleven killed 27 June. Rafah crossing reopened 23-25 June to allow Palestinians and humanitarians into Gaza. Egypt 21 June appointed first ambassador to Israel since 2012. Suicide bombing against Karnak Temple in Luxor foiled 10 June.

Egypt

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continued: court 16 May sentenced deposed president and former MB leader Morsi and 105 others to death following conviction for involvement in mass jail break in 2011, attacks on police. MB condemned ruling, called for international community to intervene; UNSG Ban expressed “serious concern”. Court 31 May sentenced rights activist Mahinour el-Masry and two others to fifteen months’ prison for attacking police station. President Sisi 28 May met with U.S. Sec Defence Leon Panetta to discuss regional security. Military operations against militants, including those linked to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), continued: military 2 May announced 29 militants killed, 133 arrested in N Sinai late April; four soldiers and three civilians killed 13 May in bomb attacks near Rafah; soldier killed 25 May in clash near Sheikh Zuweyid; policeman killed, seven wounded 27 May by roadside bomb. Six convicted Sinai militants executed 17 May, eight sentenced to death 26 May. Army late May said over 500 tunnels to Gaza destroyed during six-month operation; Rafah crossing with Gaza reopened late May after two-month closure allowing Palestinians to return.

Egypt

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continued: court 11 April confirmed death sentences for MB leader Mohammed Badie and thirteen others accused of plotting unrest. Ousted President Morsi sentenced to twenty years’ prison for ordering arrest and torture of protesters; fourteen other MB figures also sentenced, most to twenty-years. Court 20 April sentenced 22 MB supporters to death for Aug 2013 attack on police station; 19 April sentenced eleven football fans to death for role in 2012 Port Said stadium riot that left 74 dead. MB in exile head Ahmed Abdul-Rahman 23 April announced MB undergoing review, admitted past mistakes. Committee established to review new electoral laws in light of March Supreme Court ruling that draft law was unconstitutional 28 April approved new electoral laws omitting changes demanded by many political parties; President Sisi said elections will not take place until after Ramadan June-July. U.S. 1 April lifted weapons export ban on Egypt, imposed when military seized power in July 2013. Attacks in Sinai continued: fifteen soldiers and two civilians killed in gun attack 2 April near Sheikh Zuweid town; at least eleven civilians and two police officers killed 8-9 April; at least twelve killed 12 April in separate attacks on police station, checkpoint and highway in N Sinai. Three military academy students killed by roadside bomb in Kafr el-Sheikh 15 April.

Egypt

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Supreme Constitutional Court early March ruled two of three election-related laws decreed by President Sisi unconstitutional, effectively cancelling parliamentary elections scheduled to begin 22 April. Ruling welcomed by several political parties who had criticised laws; Sisi criticised for rushing legislation. Sisi 5 March announced small cabinet reshuffle, replaced eight ministers including controversial Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, moved to deputy PM position. Crackdown on political dissent continued: fourteen outlawed Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members sentenced to death 16 March; 41 judges reportedly sacked for supporting MB. State media 29 March revealed MB leader Mohamed Badie and seventeen other top members listed by public prosecutor as terrorists. Army continued major military operations in Sinai: eight security force members killed during month, govt claimed at least 160 54 militants killed. Several bomb attacks against police stations and courts early March, particularly in Cairo area and Nile Delta. Sisi mid-March hosted investment conference in Sharm al-Sheikh, attended by over 1,700 investors and several world leaders; several billion USD in investments pledged including toward building new capital, notably from Gulf states. U.S. 31 March said would end weapons freeze imposed in 2013. Deal on Nile waters signed with Sudan and Ethiopia (see Ethiopia).

Egypt

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

Egyptian air force 16 Feb bombed militant targets inside Libya after Libyan group calling itself Islamic State – Tripoli Province released video showing execution of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians (see Libya); govt urged UNSC to support intervention, lift arms embargo on Egyptian-allied govt of Libyan PM al-Thinni and impose maritime blockade on Libya. Violence continued in Sinai: jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM; also known as Sinai Province and linked to jihadi group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL)) 10 Feb claimed execution of eight tribesmen accused of collaborating with army and Israel; army reportedly killed scores of militants, including 47 in N Sinai 6 Feb. Deadly bomb attacks continued in Cairo including policeman killed 13 Feb. Court 4 Feb sentenced protest leader Ahmad Douma and 229 others to life imprisonment over clashes with army during Dec 2011 protest. Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continued: court 2 Feb confirmed death sentencing of 183 MB members; govt 23 Feb dissolved 169 MB-affiliated NGOs. Authorities early Feb released and deported Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, court released two others from detention. At least nineteen killed in stampede after police 10 Feb tear-gassed football fans in Cairo.

Egypt

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

Dozens of protesters, one police killed on 25 Jan anniversary of 2011 uprising; over 500 arrested. President Sisi 12-13 Jan held first meetings with political party leaders ahead of March-May parliamentary elections; declined to support any party, promised to back unified national party list. Authorities same day released former deputy foreign affairs adviser to deposed President Morsi in most significant Muslim Brotherhood (MB) release to date; junior MB members reportedly offered release in exchange for signing repentance forms. Authorities 26 Jan released two sons of former President Mubarak. Court 1 Jan overturned convictions of three Al Jazeera journalists and ordered retrial following late Dec Saudi-brokered agreement requiring Qatar to close Al Jazeera’s Egypt station, which has frequently given airtime to MB members. Court 31 Jan listed Hamas’ armed wing as terrorist organisation; military continued to evict residents and demolish homes in Rafah to create buffer zone along Gaza border. Attacks by jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis continued including at least 30 soldiers and police killed in attacks in north Sinai 29 Jan. Assassinations of police continued including two shot dead outside church in Minya 6 Jan.

Egypt

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Govt 10 Dec finished drafting electoral districting law after five-month delay; political parties not consulted. Election commission expected to announce elections timetable within weeks after President Sisi issued law 23 Dec. Political parties criticised law, including for favouring return of Mubarak-era National Democratic Party members. Military prosecutors early Dec referred at least 820 to military trials in Ismailia, Beheira and Minya, signifying marked shift toward using military justice system. Sentencing related to Aug 2013 violence following ouster of former President Morsi continued: court 2 Dec sentenced 185 Muslim Brotherhood (MB) supporters to death over attack on Cairo police station; seven Islamist militants sentenced to death 6 Dec over attack on police near Israeli border. MB supporter reported killed in clash with police 12 Dec in northern province Kafr al-Sheikh. New Sinai-based militant group Katibat al-Rabat al-Jihadiya 15 Dec announced split from Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM) due to disagreement over ABM’s mid-Nov pledge of allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL). Police 21 Dec reportedly killed five ABM militants in Nile Delta’s al-Sharqia district; two soldiers killed in bomb attack in northern Sinai 25 Dec. Two police, two gunmen killed in shootings in Cairo and Alexandria late Dec.

Egypt

  |  1 Dec 2014

Deteriorated

Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM) 10 Nov pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), changed name to Province of Sinai (Welayet Sina); 14 Nov claimed responsibility for late Oct attack on army checkpoint killing 33 soldiers. ABM 13 Nov killed five govt forces in Sinai; three militants, seven civilians reported killed in clash with army 19 Nov. Court 30 Nov designated IS and affiliated groups terrorist organisations. Court 29 Nov dropped case against former President Mubarak over killings of protesters in 2011; two anti-Mubarak protesters killed same day. Civilian criminal court 16 Nov referred five Al Azhar University students to military court after President Sisi late Oct expanded jurisdiction of military courts to try civilians. Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members continued following PM Mehleb’s late Oct decree dissolving MB-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL);senior MB leader Mohamed Ali Bishr arrested 20 Nov. Clashes between police, MB-supporters continued: two protesters killed south of Cairo 7 Nov. Salafi Front called for demonstrations 28 Nov, some leaders called strategy of peaceful protest a failure: four protesters reported killed in Cairo after ministry of interior pledged to use lethal force against demonstrators; two senior army officers shot dead in Cairo same day, another killed in Alexandria. Four killed, including two police, in bomb attack on train in Nile Delta’s Menufia province 5 Nov. Sisi 10 Nov said parliamentary elections to take place by March 2015.

Egypt

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Scores killed in clashes between army and militants in Sinai, including 31 soldiers 24 Oct: govt declared three-month state of emergency in north and central Sinai, closed border with Gaza and evacuated 1,100 residents along border to create buffer zone; 26 Oct postponed indirect talks between Israel, Palestinian factions, scheduled to begin in Cairo late month, in reaction to attacks. Gaza reconstruction conference 12–13 Oct, co-hosted in Cairo by Egypt and Norway, trumpeted as sign of Egypt’s return to world stage in local media following similar reporting around President Sisi’s late Sept attendance of UNGA and meeting with U.S. President Obama. Renewed protests on university campuses across country beginning 11 Oct: several clashes between students and police including 149 students arrested over first three days of protests; student died following clashes at Alexandria University, eleven injured in bomb blast outside Cairo University 22 Oct. Twelve reported injured in bomb blast near Cairo courthouse 14 Oct; several bombings in northern city Tanta during Sufi religious festival 16 Oct, no casualties.

Egypt

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Muslim Brotherhood (MB) appeared to be losing support as protest turnout declined. Salafi al-Watan party 17 Sept withdrew from MB-led Alliance to Support Legitimacy (ASL) after earlier withdrawal of moderate al-Wasat party; both said planning to act as opposition groups, indicating participation in coming elections. Non-Islamist criticism of regime continued: at least 105 detainees, mostly secular activists, on hunger strike to protest unjust detentions under 2013 Protest Law; many in pre-trial detention. High-profile activist Alaa Abdelfattah, 2 others released from pre-trial detention 15 Sept; 116 students, arrested during demonstrations, released 17 Sept. MB leader Mohamed Badie handed another life sentence 15 Sept; prominent MB politician Mohamed Beltagy sentenced to 20 years imprisonment early month. Attacks by jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM) continued in Sinai including 11 soldiers killed 2 Sept, 6 police killed 16 Sept; 4 ABM militants reported killed 23 Sept. ABM continued beheadings of local Sinai residents accused of cooperating with Israeli intelligence: corpse discovered 19 Sept marking eleventh such execution since mid-Aug. Three police killed in bombing outside foreign ministry in Cairo 21 Sept, claimed by militant group Ajnad Misr.

Egypt

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Several killed during protests marking first anniversary of deadly raids on Cairo protest camps, including Rabaa Square mass killings, following ouster of former President Morsi: 9 protesters, 1 police reported killed 14-15 Aug; protester reported killed 8 Aug. Human Rights Watch 12 Aug urged investigation into 2013 killings, said protest raids may amount to crimes against humanity. MB Freedom and Justice Party dissolved by court 9 Aug; Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam 7 Aug rejected death sentence for Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, late month commuted sentence to life imprisonment. Violence continued in Sinai including reported army killing of 11 militants 3 Aug; jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis mid-month executed 4 over alleged links to security army, Israel. 5 police, 4 alleged smugglers reported killed west of Alexandria 5 Aug; unknown gunmen 18 Aug shot dead policeman north of Cairo.

Egypt

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Govt early July implemented deep fuel subsidy cuts as part of wider aggressive campaign to reduce budget deficit, also including electricity subsidy cuts and taxes on consumer goods: resulting fuel price hikes led to few scattered protests; full impact yet to be felt by consumers, fears move could increase social tensions; measures expected to fulfil one requirement for Egypt to secure IMF assistance package. Several deadly incidents along border with Israel including: soldier killed in roadside bombing in Rafah 9 July; 2 tribal elders reported killed by suspected Islamist militants in same town 21 July; 8 reported killed, including soldier, in explosions targeting security installations 14 July; over 20 militants, 4 children reported killed in shoot-outs, mortar fire 26-27 July. At least 21 guards killed in Western Desert oasis 19 July, Sinai-based jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis blamed. Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continued, extended to other parties from Alliance for Support of Legitimacy (ASL) opposing 2013 military coup; senior leaders of Construction and Development, Wasat party arrested early July. ASL 3-4 July arranged demonstrations on anniversary of coup, at least 6 reported killed in clashes, bomb blast in Cairo outside presidential palace. Former PM Kandil freed from jail mid-July, first release of senior official from administration of ousted President Morsi.

Egypt

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

President Sisi inaugurated 8 June after announcement of election result: Sisi won 96.9%, official turnout at 47.5%, opposition alleged fraud. Sisi 17 June swore in new cabinet retaining Ibrahim Mehleb as PM, appointed 13 new ministers without change in key ministries including defence, interior. Crackdown on dissidents and Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continued: MB Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and 182 others, including 13 other senior members, sentenced to death 19 June; 2 protesters killed in clashes with govt forces next day in Cairo during demonstrations against sentencing. 1 police shot dead 13 June during dispersal of pro-MB protest in Cairo; another killed 16 June during shoot-out with alleged MB supporters; 2 police killed in bomb blast near presidential palace 30 June, claimed by militant group Ajnad Misr. 3 Al Jazeera journalists sentenced to 7 year imprisonment 23 June for helping “terrorist organisation”. Alaa Abdelfattah, prominent revolutionary youth activist known for participation in 2011 Tahrir Square occupation, sentenced 11 June to 15 years imprisonment for participating in unauthorised protest.

Egypt

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Presidential election held 26-28 May amid heavy security presence; Hamdeen Sabbahi, sole challenger to Former Defence Minister Field Marshal Abdelfattah el-Sisi, alleged number of violations; reports of detentions and arrests of campaign members, voter intimidation, pro-Sisi campaigning inside polling stations, Sabbahi’s representatives denied access. PM Mehleb declared second day of voting public holiday, Election Commission extended voting to third day; both Sabbahi and Sisi filed complaints against extension. Early unofficial results suggested Sisi won around 93% of vote. Reported turnout numbers varied, judicial sources said around 44%. Sabbahi conceded defeat, questioned turnout numbers. Muslim Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy claimed only around 10% voted, staged several protests; 4 supporters reported killed 30 May during clashes with police in Cairo. Tamarrod group said 1 member and 1 Sisi campaign coordinator shot dead in Giza province same day. In run-up to election, Sisi restricted public appearances to select TV interviews after claiming 2 assassination plots against him uncovered early month: campaign message included warnings 2 years of tough reforms needed; media should temper criticism of govt in interim; protests and strikes should cease; democracy not feasible in short term. Sisi showed no inclination towards reconciling with anti-coup forces. Violent unrest, acts of terrorism and state crackdown continued. Twin suicide bombings killed 3 in Sinai 2 May, claimed by insurgent group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis; same day 2 soldiers killed in Cairo bombings and 2 killed in Alexandria, reportedly during clashes between Morsi supporters and residents. 3 police killed 20 May in drive-by shooting outside Cairo’s al-Azhar university. Court 21 May sentenced former president Mubarak to 3 years imprisonment for stealing public funds.

Egypt

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Former Defence Minister Abdelfattah el-Sisi and Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi only 2 candidates to register for 26-27 May presidential election by 20 April nomination deadline. Court 15 April banned Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members from running in any elections. Sabbahi campaign warned against use of state resources and media in favour of Sisi, complained of assaults on campaigners and arrests on false grounds. EU foreign policy chief Ashton visited Cairo 10 April, formally announced EU election monitoring mission, reportedly called Sisi’s decision to run “courageous”; no meeting with MB representatives, who criticised visit. Attacks on security forces continued with militant group Ajnad Misr claiming several bomb attacks: 2 killed outside Cairo University 2 April, including police brigadier-general; 1 police killed in Cairo 18 April; 2 police shot dead 20 April between Cairo and Suez. Several killed by govt forces, including in separate incidents 11 April: pro-MB demonstrator shot dead in Alexandria, 2 MB members reported killed in Nile Delta shoot-out, prominent Ansar Beit al-Maqdis militant killed in Sinai according to military officials. At least 25 killed early April in clashes between rival clans in Aswan. Court 28 April sentenced 683 defendants to death, including MB leader Mohamed Badie; another court banned April 6 Movement. Govt announced price increase for subsidised fuel, electricity, water, imposed ban on high-power air-conditioning units ahead of expected summer energy crisis.

Egypt

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Field Marshal Abdelfattah el-Sisi resigned as defence minister 26 March in order to run in May presidential election; candidate registration open 30 March-20 April. Interim President Mansour 8 March decreed controversial new election law protecting decisions of election commission from legal challenges, refused to amend it after some parties protested on grounds that doing so could lengthen electoral process. Previously announced contender Sami Anan withdrew from presidential race; second runner-up in 2012 presidential election General Ahmed Shafik in leaked recording said election bound to be rigged in favour of Sisi, in subsequent public statement backed Sisi; another former candidate, human rights lawyer Khaled Ali, announced he would not run, called election “farce”. New govt formed 1 March by PM Ibrahim Mehleb, member of pre-2011 ruling party; departure of outgoing PM Biblawi and Deputy PM Ziad Bahaa Eddin, who represented liberals in anti-Muslim Brotherhood (MB) alliance, seen by observers as further reducing prospect of reconciliation with MB. Court 24 March sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members to death for murder and other offences, sparking domestic and international condemnation; sentence to be appealed. Several police and army officers killed during month, including 6 officers by gunmen at checkpoint near Cairo 15 March; army blamed MB, MB denied. 2 senior army officers, 6 militants killed 19 March in Nile Delta region during army raid on jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. Clashes continued between MB supporters and police across country, several casualties: MB-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy called for 11 days of protests starting on 19 March anniversary of 2011 constitutional referendum, 2 killed in clashes same day; 5 killed in Cairo 29 March during protests against Sisi presidential bid.

Egypt

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Following late-Jan escalation of conflict in Sinai army struck several targets, jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM) continued attacks. Army raids and airstrikes killed dozens throughout month, officials claimed senior ABM members among dead. ABM bombing 16 Feb killed 3 S Korean tourists, 1 bus driver near Israeli border. Attacks in and around Cairo continued including 7 Feb bombing near Giza police station injuring 6, claimed by new militant group Ajnad Misr. Several killed in drive-by shootings targeting police. Military-backed govt 24 Feb announced resignation in move expected to pave way for Field Marshal Abdelfattah el-Sisi to announce presidential run; candidacy requires Sisi to step down as defence minister, exiting Housing Minister Ibrahim Melheb tasked with forming new govt. 2 presidential contenders announced: former armed forces chief of staff Sami Enan, neo-Nasserist and 3rd runner-up in 2012 presidential election Hamdeen Sabahi. 4th runner-up in 2012 election Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh 9 Feb announced boycott; described polls as “mockery”. Sisi’s expected candidacy received endorsements from former President Mubarak, Russian President Putin. Sisi, FM Fahmy visited Russia 12 Feb, reportedly to discuss arms deal. Prosecutor general 4 Feb referred nearly 200 to trial including Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohammed Badie, other senior members: more than 500 Morsi supporters referred to trial 24 Feb, 220 sentenced to up to 7 years’ jail next day.

Egypt

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Official results of 14-15 Jan referendum on amended constitution indicate over 98% in favour, turnout almost 39%. Outlawed Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Islamist Alliance for Support of Legitimacy (ASL) campaigned for boycott; Strong Egypt Party campaigned for “no”, some members arrested. Monitoring NGOs reported violations during two-day voting period, influencing voters and voting registration errors. Interim President Adli Mansour 26 Jan announced presidential elections to take place within 3 months, before parliamentary elections. Supreme Council of the Armed Forces 27 Jan approved defence minister Abdelfattah el-Sisi to run for presidency, after President Mansour promoted him from colonel-general to field marshal. Clashes between supporters of ousted President Morsi and security forces increased ahead of and during referendum; 17 killed and 60 injured 3 Jan, 3 killed 10 Jan, 11 killed 14 Jan. Deadly clashes between protesters and security forces continued after referendum, with at least 49 killed in worst incident 25 Jan, anniversary of 2011 uprising. Several bomb attacks in Cairo including 3 attacks 24 Jan killing at least 5, injuring 60. Gunmen shot dead senior interior ministry official in Cairo 28 Jan. Multiple attacks continued in Sinai Peninsula, including first-ever use of surface-to-air missile by militants 27 Jan to bring down military helicopter, killing 4; Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group claimed responsibility. Arrests of MB supporters continued, including 444 arrested 15 Jan on charges of rioting and weapons possession, 63 jailed 9 Jan. U.S. Sec State Kerry 18 Jan expressed concern about limits of freedom of assembly and expression. MB lawyers 6 Jan petitioned ICC to investigate alleged crimes against humanity by military govt since July 2013. Amnesty International 23 Jan reported human rights violations and state violence on “unprecedented scale” since July 2013.

Egypt

  |  2 Jan 2014

Deteriorated

Govt 25 Dec formally declared Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a terrorist group, made MB membership and participation in anti-coup protests a crime; move effectively rules out possibility of reconciliation with MB, further complicating political scene. Declaration followed bomb explosion at govt building in Mansura 24 Dec in which at least 12 killed, scores injured; govt blamed MB despite lack of evidence of its involvement. Political transition roadmap moved ahead as constitutional committee 1 Dec finalised controversial draft constitution. Committee president 15 Dec said draft gives unprecedented rights to women and removes religious clauses included in Dec 2012 constitution. MB 2 Dec and Islamist Alliance for the Support of Legitimacy (ASL) rejected draft. April 6 Movement criticised draft over powers granted to military and defence minister, inclusion of military trials for civilians; Coptic church, Salafi Nour Party and Tamarrod movement voiced support for draft. Interim President Mansour 14 Dec said referendum on draft constitution scheduled 14-15 Jan; April 6 movement and ASL announced boycott. Secret talks between authorities and ASL faltered. Govt 18 Dec charged ousted President Morsi with treason, espionage, sponsoring terrorism, collaborating with Iran, Hizbollah and Hamas. Sweeping arrests against Islamists continued; govt crackdown on dissidents expanding to include rights groups, secular political activists. Anti-govt protests ongoing on near-daily basis, several killed in clashes with police late-month. Police 8 Dec staged rare protest demanding higher wages, defying new protest law. Militant attacks continued: in Ismailia suspected Islamists shot dead policeman 17 Dec, car bombs exploded 12 Dec killing 1 policeman; car bomb in Cairo 17 Dec; suspected al-Qaeda-affiliated militants shot dead soldier during clashes in Sinai Peninsula 20 Dec. 5 injured in Cairo bomb attack 26 Dec. Army 17 Dec shot dead alleged Islamist militant Abou Khaled wanted for Aug 2012 terror attack in Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Court 4 Nov postponed trial of deposed President Mohammed Morsi and 14 co-defendants until 8 Jan; appeals court 11 Nov extended Morsi’s detention for 30 days. Appeals court 6 Nov rejected legal challenge by MB against Sept ruling that banned group’s activities and seized its funds; MB 7 Nov said it will survive despite ban and media “campaign of slander”. “Alliance for the Support of Legitimacy” (ASL) coalition of Islamists 16 Nov called for dialogue to end crisis on condition that govt halt security crackdown, did not call for Morsi reinstatement; govt did not officially respond but made clear acceptance of roadmap a precondition. FM Fahmy 8 Nov said Egypt will hold parliamentary elections “between Feb and March” 2014, followed by presidential vote. Constitutional committee 30 Nov passed first 138 articles of draft constitution; PM Beblawy 25 Nov suggested referendum on new constitution would take place “second half of Jan 2014”. Govt 23 Nov withdrew ambassador from Turkey, expelled Turkish ambassador after Turkish PM Erdoğan reiterated condemnation of 3 July coup. Mass protests and arrests continued on near-daily basis: large demonstrations 19 Nov commemorated 2011 clashes with security forces in Cairo; 2 killed by police in subsequent clashes. Govt 11 Nov ended 3-month state of emergency, 23 Nov introduced “protest law” requiring advance govt approval of all demonstrations; Human Rights Watch says law will “ban protests” in Egypt, UNSG Ban 27 Nov expressed concern over law, violent dispersal of protests. Army 20 Nov vowed to continue war on “terrorism” after series of attacks: unclaimed suicide car bomb 20 Nov targeted bus transporting soldiers in N Sinai killed 11 soldiers and injured dozens; Sinai-based Islamist militants 17 Nov assassinated officer, 21 Nov killed officer during firefight in Qalubiya; unidentified gunmen 3 Nov killed 2 policemen at checkpoint on Cairo-Ismailia road.

Egypt

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Political transition roadmap moved forward as constitutional committee 22 Oct began final negotiations, amid continued exclusion of most Islamist political forces from process, heavy casualties at almost daily pro-Muslim Brotherhood (MB) rallies. Security forces 6 Oct killed dozens, arrested over 400 MB supporters in clashes across Egypt; 53 people killed, 271 wounded. Leaked audio files from interview with defence minister General al-Sisi 16 Oct revealed he may run for president. Former president Morsi to stand trial 4 Nov on charges of espionage for Hamas and prison escape during 2011 revolution; MB 2 Oct said will not backtrack on its demand for Morsi reinstatement as president. Political violence continued to escalate with army operations in restless Sinai Peninsula as unclaimed attacks on govt targets increased, fuelling fears of Islamist insurgency. Unidentified gunmen 4 Oct killed 2 soldiers in attack on army convoy east of Cairo, 7 Oct killed 6 soldiers in Ismailia and fired grenades at satellite station in Cairo, 28 Oct killed 3 policemen at university in Mansoura. U.S. 10 Oct suspended delivery of military hardware to Egyptian army in response to crackdown on MB, said “credible progress” needed towards fair elections; continued economic assistance, support for counter-terrorism operations and Egyptian-Israeli border security.

Egypt

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Govt continued crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members and pro-Morsi Islamists with several arrests, closure of more media outlets and 23 Sept court decision banning all MB activities. Security forces 16, 19 Sept stormed towns of Delga and Kerdasa, retaking Islamist strongholds. EU envoy continuing international efforts to mediate between govt and MB. Experts committee, headed by former presidential candidate Amr Moussa and including only 2 Islamists out of its 50 members, 7 Sept started reviewing constitution draft prepared by technical committee of legal scholars. Constitution to be put to referendum by end-Nov, followed by parliamentary and presidential elections. Amid calls for defence minister and regime strongman General al-Sisi to run for president, army spokesman 22 Sept reaffirmed military does not intend to nominate candidate. Uptick in anti-state violence, most notably in Sinai where suicide bomb 11 Sept killed over 100 soldiers, levelled military intelligence HQ near Rafah. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim survived car bomb attack on his convoy in Cairo 5 Sept, 4 bystanders killed; previously-unknown Sinai-based jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for this and other attacks during month. Increasing use of IEDs reported, ship crossing Suez Canal targeted by RPGs. Military launched large-scale offensive in E Sinai 7 Sept, reported it killed 30 militants in assault on 12 villages; publicly blamed Hamas for allowing Egyptian and Palestinian extremists to use tunnels under Gaza border. Gunmen 30 Sept reportedly killed 3 policemen, one soldier in N Sinai.

Egypt

  |  1 Sep 2013

Deteriorated

Violence by security forces against supporters of former president Morsi continued; daily pro-Morsi protests and sit-ins culminated in 14 Aug army crackdown on Morsi supporters in Nahda and Rabaa al-Adawiya squares in Cairo, some 500 reportedly killed and many injured; army declared curfew and state of emergency. Morsi supporters staged further protests 30 Aug; at least 6 reported killed in clashes with police. Cycle of violence that began 14 Aug believed to have claimed over 1,000 lives. Army continued arrests of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leaders, including MB supreme guide Mohammed Badie on charges of inciting violence; govt 17 Aug announced it is engaged in “war on terror”, considered dissolving MB, however Interim PM Beblawi 27 Aug said would instead monitor group. Interim govt continued transition plan with drafting of several constitutional amendments behind closed doors. Govt mid-Aug closed Islamist TV channels, arrested journalists critical of new govt. Judiciary 12 Aug extended Morsi’s detention. Prominent opposition figure Mohammed ElBaradei 14 Aug resigned post in new govt as VP for International Affairs in protest at army crackdown. Retribution killings against army and police officers increased in major cities including Giza, Ismailia and Alexandria; pro-Morsi militants 14, 16 Aug reportedly attacked several churches, prompting Coptic Church to declare support for army, police. Ousted President Mubarak released from prison 21 Aug, put under house arrest. Egypt increasingly isolated internationally as army repression widely condemned; EU 21 Aug restricted arms sales to Egypt, will review aid. Violence in Sinai continued, militants 19 Aug killed at least 25 Egyptian soldiers in the border city of Rafah.

Egypt

  |  1 Aug 2013

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Political tensions reached new heights after military leadership 3 July removed President Morsi following mass protests late June/early July, suspended constitution and 4 July replaced him with head of Supreme Constitutional Court Adly Mansour as interim president. Mansour mid-July issued constitutional decree dissolving parliament, also appointed new interim cabinet with no Islamists included; also appointed committee to review amendments to constitution. MB refused to concede presidency, 16 July said new cabinet “illegitimate”. Violence intensified as pro-Morsi protesters clashed with security forces and MB opponents; 8 July clash between Republican Guards and Morsi supporters left over 80 supporters and 1 army officer dead. Rival rallies late month saw over 70 pro-Morsi protesters killed. Military detained and arrested hundreds of MB leaders and members as well as Islamist politicians who refuse to recognise legitimacy of 3 July military intervention. Interim govt 31 July said it will take measures to disperse pro-MB sit-ins, considered to constitute a “threat to national security”; protesters defied announcement. Morsi put under house arrest and accused 26 July of murder, kidnapping and ties with Hamas; EU FM Ashton 29 July met Morsi, said appeared healthy. Militant attacks on security forces in Sinai continued, with sporadic sectarian attacks against Christians in Upper Egypt. UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait early July committed aid/loans totalling $12bn.

Egypt

  |  1 Jul 2013

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Egypt Tensions between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and opponents continued to intensify, exacerbated by continued deterioration in socio-economic conditions, increasingly frequent power cuts and gasoline shortages. Amid increasingly aggressive rhetoric on both sides, opposition rejected President Morsi’s 2 June call for national dialogue. Thousands gathered for pro-Morsi rally in Cairo 21 June. Morsi 26 June proposed setting up committee for national reconciliation and another for proposing constitutional amendments, but opposition rejected initiative. At least 10 killed in unrest late month and during large-scale opposition rallies in Cairo and other cities 30 June, which saw tens of thousands protesting calling for Morsi’s resignation and early presidential elections; Morsi supporters also rallied. Anti-Morsi “Tammarud” (“Rebel”) campaign claimed to have gathered 22mn signatures in petition to oust President, while pro-Morsi “Taggarud” campaign claimed to have gathered 25mn signatures in support of President. Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) 2 June ruled parliament’s upper house illegal but allowed to keep legislative power until new elections held; Shura Council 23 June approved SCC’s May amendments to draft electoral law. Controversial governor reshuffle by Morsi that saw Gamaa’ al-Islamiyya-founded Building and Development Party member Adel Assad Mohamed al-Khayat appointed as Luxor governor 17 June sparked protests, resignation of tourism minister; al-Khayat resigned 23 June, tourism minister withdrew resignation. Morsi 15 June announced Egypt has cut all ties with Syria, called for no-fly zone and Hizbollah withdrawal from Syria; Syrian govt condemned decision. Relations with Ethiopia still tense over Nile dam project (see Ethiopia).

“Egypt parliament ruled illegal, but to stay on”, Reuters, 2 June 2013.


Egypt

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

Political stalemate between President Morsi’s administration and opponents continued. Morsi 7 May reshuffled cabinet replacing 9 ministers, raising number of officials affiliated with his Freedom and Justice Party from 8 to 10; prompted criticism from opposition National Salvation Front, which had refused to participate in new cabinet unless PM Qandil is replaced. Anti-govt protests continue, though much reduced in number and frequency: young activist group launched “Rebellion” campaign aimed at gathering 15mn signatures in petition to oust Morsi. Tensions in Sinai ongoing; armed group 16 May abducted 7 security officers, called for release of jailed militants; army 22 May freed officers. Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) 25 May rejected draft elections law and demanded right to vote be given to army and police; some MPs threatened to sue SCC. No date yet set for parliamentary elections. Ethiopia’s diversion of Nile waters met with protests (see Ethiopia).

Egypt

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

Amid ongoing violent clashes between protesters and police, anti-govt protesters 12 April attempted assault on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) HQ in Alexandria and presidential palace in Cairo. Pro-MB and other Islamists 19 April staged protest demanding judicial purge to remove judges linked to Mubarak regime; Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki resigned 21 April pre-empting removal in forthcoming cabinet reshuffle, presidential legal adviser quit 23 April. President Morsi 10 April dropped charges against journalists for “insulting” him in March, including TV satirist Bassem Youssef. Sectarian violence between Copts and Muslims early April left 7 dead in Abbesaya and Al-Khasous north of Cairo. Reports of violence in Sinai mid-April prompted govt to increase security; Salafi militants in Sinai 17 April fired rockets on Eilat in Israel, no casualties. Security forces reported they dismantled Israeli spy network in northern Sinai. IMF loan negotiations ended 16 April without agreement; Libya, Qatar and Turkey offered financial assistance, Iraq, Libya and Qatar low-cost energy.

Egypt

  |  1 Apr 2013

Deteriorated

Amid ongoing stalemate between president and opposition, clashes between police and protestors continued; renewed violence outside Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Cairo HQ 22 March injured over 100; violent protests against MB 23-24 March. President Morsi 24 March warned he would take “necessary measures” to “protect the nation”; prosecutor general 25 March ordered arrest of several activists. Several killed, hundreds injured 3 March when clashes broke out in Port Said following transfer of detainees accused of involvement in 2012 Port Said soccer riot. Port Said court 9 March acquitted 28 defendants, sentenced 5 to life in prison and 21 to death for role in soccer riot deaths; only 2 police officers found guilty. Presidential spokesperson 14 March said families of those killed in recent Port Said violence would be compensated. Increasing demonstrations motivated by shortages, inflation, price increases. Month also saw unprecedented nationwide strikes by police and security forces; demands included dismissal of Interior Minister, separation of police from political conflicts. 6 March court ruling on electoral law technicality postponed parliamentary elections scheduled for 22 April. Sinai security forces late month reportedly arrested 25 Hamas and Al-Qaida militants attempting to cross to Nile Delta, found weapons cache in El-Arish.

Egypt

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

President Morsi 21 Feb announced 4-stage parliamentary election starting 27 April, later moved to 22 April to avoid clash with Easter; main opposition coalition National Salvation Front (NSF) 26 Feb announced boycott over transparency concerns. Morsi called for 26 Feb live-broadcast national dialogue session to discuss election fairness guarantees; NSF, Christian representatives did not attend. Govt approved elections monitoring by several NGOs and international organisations. Latest wave of unrest which began 24 Jan continued into Feb in cities and governorates across Egypt, fuelled by anger at police brutality in response to rioting. Protesters outside presidential palace clashed with police 1 Feb; 2 killed. Campaign of civil disobedience initiated 17 Feb in Port Said as protesters demanded official accountability for over 40 protester deaths in Jan violence; over a week of protests, strikes and blockades of govt buildings followed. In attempt to quell anger Morsi 19 Feb agreed to judicial investigation, allocated new funds to area. Civil disobedience campaigns spread to other governorates including Ismailia, Kafr al-Sheikh.

Egypt

  |  1 Feb 2013

Risk Alert Deteriorated

Eve of second anniversary of revolution 26 Jan marked beginning of days of severe unrest and violent clashes between protesters and security forces in major cities; dozens killed. Death sentences given 26 Jan to 21 Port Said soccer fans over Feb 2012  soccer riot sparked massive riots in Port Said, at least 30 killed, over 1,000 injured. President Morsi 27 Jan declared one-month state of emergency and curfew in Suez, Ismailia, Port Said, widely defied by tens of thousands protesting in following days. Morsi same day called for “national dialogue”, rejected by opposition who demanded unity govt and amendments to disputed constitution. Rival factions 30 Jan pledged to condemn violence, participate in talks. Egyptian army chief Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi 29 Jan warned political crisis “could lead to a collapse of the state”. As crisis continued Morsi 30 Jan approved law granting army officers judicial arrest power. Court 11 Jan ordered retrial of former president Mubarak, sentenced to life in prison Jan 2012 for involvement in killing of protestors in 2011 uprisings, as well as other regime officials. Supreme Constitutional Court 15 Jan deferred ruling on legality of Egypt’s Islamist-dominated Upper House and Constitutional Assembly. Instability in Sinai continued: policeman shot dead 5 Jan by unidentified gunmen; gunmen 11 Jan attacked patrol protecting cross-Sinai gas pipeline.

Egypt

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

President Morsi 25 Dec signed into law contentious constitution giving Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament full legislative powers until vote for new lower house is held in 2 months. Despite opposition “no” campaign, constitution passed by 63.8% in 2-stage constitutional referendum; turnout rate 32.9%. Opposition groups claimed violations in both rounds; leaders 23 Dec called new constitution “illegitimate”, said would use “all peaceful, democratic means” to challenge it. Run-up to referendum saw daily pro- and anti-constitution rallies, some drawing tens of thousands. After series of violent attacks against Muslim Brotherhood offices and figures, clashes between thousands of Morsi supporters and hundreds of opponents 5-6 Dec marked worst violence between political factions since fall of Mubarak, with several killed, hundreds injured; 3 senior presidential advisers resigned, blamed Morsi for violence; in 6 Dec speech Morsi blamed Mubarak cronies, conspiracy of foreign agents, political opposition. Morsi 8 Dec revoked controversial Nov decree awarding him sweeping powers until constitutional referendum, but dispute with judiciary continued: many judges refused to oversee referendum despite legal requirement for judicial oversight.

Egypt

  |  1 Dec 2012

Deteriorated
President Morsi 22 Nov issued controversial constitutional declaration temporarily granting himself more powers and immunity from judicial review until a new constitution comes into force; declaration also effectively sacked Mubarak-era chief prosecutor, ordered retrial of recently-acquitted Mubarak officials implicated in violence against protesters, protects Shura Council and Constituent Assembly (CA) from potential court-ordered dissolution, and extended CA deadline to draft new constitution by 2 months. Morsi justified action as necessary to prevent pro-Mubarak judges sabotaging transition proceedings; opposition called declaration a “coup”. Judges 24 Nov said declaration constitutes “unprecedented attack” on judiciary, initiated strike 25 Nov; Morsi 26 Nov made judiciary-proposed compromises to decree. Protests across country started 23 Nov, as well as pro-Morsi counter-protests; 3 killed, hundreds injured in clashes between sides and with security forces. Opposition 25 Nov initiated sit-in in Tahrir Square. CA saw further non-Islamist withdrawals and membership freezes during month, 30 Nov finished draft constitution. However process, quick completion and content of constitution criticised by some liberals, fuelling protests. Morsi said nationwide referendum on draft would be held “soon”; if public approves the constitution, all previous constitutional declarations, including President’s latest, would automatically become void. Morsi credited with negotiating 21 Nov Hamas-Israel ceasefire (see Israel/OPT). Violent clashes began 18 Nov between residents of Qorsaya island in Giza and army over land ownership claims; several killed, 25 arrested. 1 killed, hundreds injured and arrested during days of clashes between demonstrators and police on Mohamed Mahmoud Street in Cairo following 18 Nov demonstration commemorating deadly 2011 clash. 3 members of Egypt’s security forces shot dead, 1 wounded 3 Nov in attack by jihadi gunmen in N Sinai. Militants 26 Nov bombed security bases being built in Sinai, injuring 4. EU approved $6.4bn financial support package; Egypt and IMF reached preliminary deal for $4.8bn loan.

Egypt

  |  1 Nov 2012

Unchanged

Court 23 Oct referred case challenging constitutionality of Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly (CA) to Supreme Constitutional Court. Draft constitution released 10 Oct criticised by judiciary, opposition, civil society for shortcomings in human rights, separation of powers. Clashes erupted 12 Oct in Tahrir Square between ruling Muslim Brotherhood and opposition supporters denouncing Islamist dominance of CA. President Morsi attempted to remove Mubarak-era Prosecutor-General following 11 Oct court acquittal of 24 Mubarak loyalists accused of involvement in deadly “Battle of the Camels” attack on anti-regime protesters during 2011 uprising. Prosecutor-General 22 Oct ordered investigation into allegations of fraud in presidential election following official complaint by Ahmed Shafiq, who narrowly lost contest; call came day after authorities froze Shafiq’s and family’s assets as part of investigation into his wealth. Libyan militant Karim Ahmed Essam el-Azizi, suspected of involvement in Sept attack on U.S. consulate in Libya, killed by security forces 24 Oct in Cairo. Morsi 8 Oct issued blanket pardon for crimes, except murder, committed in “support of the revolution”.

Egypt

  |  1 Oct 2012

Unchanged

Some 3,000 protesters demonstrated outside U.S. embassy in Cairo 11 Sept over anti-Islam film; some 200 injured, 1 killed in following days as protesters clashed with security forces. Prosecutor’s office 18 Sept issued arrest warrant for 7 Egyptian Coptic Christians, 1 U.S. pastor for alleged role in film’s production on charges of harming national unity, insulting Islam, spreading false information. Mubarak-era PM and presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq and 10 aviation officials referred to trial on corruption charges; TV presenter Tawfiq Okasha, on trial for incitement to murder President Morsi, arrested 30 Sept for embezzlement. At 5 Sept Arab League summit, President Morsi endorsed change of govt in Syria; 17 Sept held contact group meeting with Iran, Turkey govts to address crisis; further talks held 27 Sept at UNGA meeting in New York. Govt 8 Sept revealed Egypt-Israel cooperation in Sinai security operation, said 32 “criminal elements” killed, 38 suspects arrested. Unidentified gunmen 14 Sept attacked international peacekeeping base in Gora; 1 soldier killed 16 Sept in armed attack on N Sinai security HQ in el-Arish. Court 8 Sept postponed hearing to 2 Oct of lawsuits challenging legality of Constitutional Assembly’s composition; Administrative Court 22 Sept affirmed Supreme Constitutional Court June ruling that caused dissolution of Parliament.

Egypt

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

Authorities launched largest military operation in Sinai since 1973 after militants 6 Aug attacked border post at Rafah killing 16 policemen, captured 2 armoured vehicles in attempt to penetrate Israel; state media said attackers “jihadists” from Gaza; militants 8 Aug reportedly attacked security checkpoints in al-Arish. Military launched airstrikes against suspected Islamists in response, killing 20, started to seal off smuggling tunnels to Gaza. Court 14 Aug sentenced to death 14 members of al-Tawhid wal-Jihad Islamist group over July 2011 attack on al-Arish. President Mursi 8 Aug announced resignation of 7 senior military officers, including Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) head Gen Tantawi, Chief of Staff Gen Anan, appointed Gen al-Sisi as new SCAF head. Mursi 13 Aug rescinded June Constitutional Declaration giving SCAF legislative powers, issued alternative declaration awarding himself powers while parliament dissolved; 2 Aug swore-in new cabinet under PM Qandil; 30 Aug attended Non-Aligned Movement meetings in Tehran, condemned “oppressive” Assad regime in Syria.

Egypt

  |  1 Aug 2012

Unchanged

Tensions continued between newly-elected President Mursi and military council (SCAF): Mursi 8 July ordered parliament to reconvene, reversing June decision by Supreme Court to dissolve parliament; Supreme Court 10 July overturned presidential decree; SCAF warned Mursi to respect laws, constitution; Parliamentary Speaker al-Katatni same day adjourned parliamentary session pending ruling by high appeals court on implementation of Supreme Court ruling; President Mursi 11 July emphasised commitment to judicial process and dialogue, 24 July appointed water minister Hisham Qandil, a non-partisan technocrat, as PM. U.S. Sec of State Clinton 14 July held first meeting with President Mursi, voiced support for full transition to civilian rule; SCAF warned no-one would prevent it fulfilling role as Egypt’s protector. Authorities 23 July began releasing prisoners detained by military during revolution. Public Prosecutor 16 July ordered former President Mubarak back to prison after improvements in health. Former spy chief and VP Suleiman died 19 July of heart attack in U.S.

Egypt

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

Month saw Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammad Mursi inaugurated president after winning 16-17 June presidential run-off; 24 June announcement by electoral commission (PEC) followed mass protests in Tahrir Square, accusations military junta (SCAF) consolidating power. Justice Ministry 13 June granted military powers to arrest civilians; decree annulled 26 June by court. Supreme Court 14 June dissolved Parliament after finding law on parliamentary elections breached equality between independent and party candidates, same day ruled “political exclusion law” passed by parliament unconstitutional. SCAF 18 June issued declaration granting itself sweeping powers, control over budget, legislation, constitution-writing process. Deal reached 8 June over selection of 100-member Constituent Assembly following talks between heads of 22 political parties, SCAF. Court 2 June sentenced former president Mubarak to life in prison for complicity in killing of protesters; acquitted 4 interior ministry officials, 2 local security chiefs, sparking protests;  court 28 June jailed 12 including former oil minister Samih Fahmi over Israel gas deal.  

Egypt

  |  1 Jun 2012

Unchanged

Month saw peaceful voting in 23-24 May presidential elections; announcement of 16-17 June run-off between Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi, former PM Shafiq sparked protests; Shafiq campaign HQ ransacked 28 May. Military council 31 May ended 31-year state of emergency. Unidentified assailants 2-4 May attacked protesters demonstrating outside defence ministry against military rule, some 11 killed. Bedouin tribesmen 7 May released 10 Fijian members of Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) mission in Sinai, reportedly after demands met.


Egypt

  |  1 May 2012

Deteriorated

Month saw increasing constitutional and electoral turmoil ahead of 23-24 May presidential elections, mass demonstrations against Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Former spy chief and VP Suleiman 6 April announced presidential candidacy, sparking mass demonstration primarily by Islamists; Muslim Brotherhood (MB) warned of second revolution should former regime sympathisers return to power. Higher Presidential Election Commission (HPEC) 15 April disqualified 10 of 23 candidates, including the MB’s al-Shatir, Suleiman, Salafist Abu Ismail; MB said Freedom and Justice Party Chairman Mursi to run instead; tens of thousands of protesters from wide range of groups 20-21 April returned to Tahrir Square demanding handover of power to civilian rule. Salafist al-Nour Party 23 April suffered high-profile resignations over party’s perceived failure to endorse Abu Ismail’s presidential bid. Abu Ismail supporters organised sit-in opposite Ministry of Defence, violently attacked by unidentified assailants. Administrative court 10 April suspended Constituent Assembly following mass boycott by secular, minority groups; Advisory Council called on SCAF to issue complementary constitutional declaration setting criteria for equal representation. MB 18 April warned of “fierce war” to keep Islamists out of executive branch, said democracy in danger. Mohamed ElBaradei 28 April launched new Constitution Party. Protests 17 April disrupted start of trial of suspects in Feb Port Said football violence. Interpol 23 April refused Egyptian request to issue international wanted persons alerts for 15 foreigners linked to U.S.-based NGOs. Egypt state-owned gas company EGAS 23 April announced cancellation of gas deal with Israel over unpaid fees. 

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