Egypt

Since a July 2013 military coup, Egypt has sought to reassert state authority undermined by the 2011 uprising at the expense of political inclusion, especially of the Muslim Brotherhood. The resulting polarisation has encouraged mounting political violence from the Islamic State (ISIS) and other violent groups, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula where a low-level insurgency has raged. In the Nile Valley, in 2017, ISIS has targeted the Coptic Christian minority, while al-Qaeda affiliates and other groups tied to the Brotherhood have targeted security forces. Crisis Group is urging the government to be more inclusive and address widespread violations of human and political rights, especially ahead of presidential elections scheduled for May 2018, to better address security and economic challenges.

Off

CrisisWatch Egypt

Unchanged Situation

Cairo continued to grapple with repercussions of Israel’s war on Gaza, reportedly preparing for refugee influx in case of ground offensive on Rafah; Cairo and UAE signed major investment deal, alleviating Egypt’s foreign currency shortage.

Egypt reportedly built security zone in Sinai anticipating refugee influx from Gaza. Responding to speculation that Egypt was ready to suspend peace treaty with Israel if latter launches ground offensive on Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, FM Sameh Shoukry 12 Feb said Cairo remained committed to agreement as long as Israel was, too. NGO Sinai for Human Rights 14 Feb said Egypt was building fortified buffer zone along border with Gaza to accommodate refugees in case of mass exodus from Gaza, while isolating them from rest of Sinai Peninsula. North Sinai governorate 17 Feb refuted report, claiming ongoing construction works were meant to create logistics zone to manage humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, efforts to broker truce in Gaza picked up pace. After Egypt, Israel, Qatar, and U.S. representatives met in French capital Paris, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan 25 Feb said parties “came to an understanding” on basic contours of hostage deal and ceasefire; senior Hamas official 27 Feb however said “big gaps” remained on major issues, notably length of truce.

UAE signed agreement for largest foreign direct investment in Egypt’s history. Egypt 23 Feb announced mega-deal with United Arab Emirates sovereign wealth fund for development of real estate on Mediterranean coast; deal will bring in $35bn, virtually solving Egypt’s liquidity problems. International Monetary Fund Director Kristalina Georgieva 2 Feb said talks over new loan were in final stretch. Exchange rate devaluation likely to take place before IMF disburses first tranche of new loan.

Turkish president’s visit marked culmination of rapprochement between Cairo and Ankara. Turkish President Erdoğan 14 Feb met with President Sisi during first official visit to Egypt since 2012, marking further step in diplomatic reconciliation between two countries and offering opportunities for understandings on issues including East Mediterranean and Libya. Sisi expected to visit Türkiye in April.

Continue reading

In The News

17 jan 2024
[Egypt] cannot live with the permanent displacement of Palestinians into the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza war’s crippling economic effects and risks of regional war. Bloomberg

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
15 jan 2024
Things have been very tense [on Gaza's border with Egypt], but there are limits to how far these tensions can go on a strategic level. The National

Michael Wahid Hanna

Program Director, U.S.
7 dec 2023
If the war goes the way it’s been going, the border between Egypt and Gaza will come under immense pressure. Reality might have a say then. The National

Michael Wahid Hanna

Program Director, U.S.

Latest Updates

Our People

Michael Wahid Hanna

Program Director, U.S.
Michael Wahid Hanna

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
Riccardo Fabiani

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.