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CrisisWatch Egypt

Deteriorated Situation

Conflict Risk Alert

Islamic State (ISIS) stepped up attacks, particularly against Coptic Christians, and May could see further attacks on churches and heightened insecurity as govt implements state of emergency. Suicide bombers 9 April detonated explosives in church in Tanta, Gharbeya governorate some 100km north of Cairo and outside church in Alexandria, killing 48 people; ISIS claimed responsibility without specifying which branch. Police same day dismantled two explosive devices at mosque in Tanta. President Sisi immediately sacked Gharbeya governorate security chief and declared three-month state of emergency. Govt 11 April said security forces killed seven alleged ISIS sympathisers suspected of planning attacks against Coptic Christians in Assiut and Sohag provinces in south, and against police and courts. ISIS militants 18 April attacked security forces around St. Catherine’s monastery in S Sinai, killing police officer; military responded with airstrikes in N Sinai, killing two suspected militants. Army 20 April said airstrikes killed nineteen ISIS militants in N Sinai, including three leaders. ISIS militant 25 April killed at least 40 army-allied tribesmen in suicide attack in al-Barth village in N Sinai; tribesmen subsequently reportedly burned alive suspected ISIS militant. Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated TV channel 20 April broadcast video allegedly showing extrajudicial killings by military in Sinai Peninsula. Sisi in Washington DC 3-7 April met U.S. President Trump, cabinet and lawmakers; discussions focused on Sinai security, economy, foreign aid and terrorism. Cairo court 30 April sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leader and radical preacher Wagdy Ghoneim to death in absentia, with two others in detention, for allegedly setting up terror group after 2013 overthrow of former President Morsi; five others sentenced to life, including two in absentia.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

16 Feb 2017
The deep state is not official institutions rebelling [but] shadowy networks within those institutions, and within business, who are conspiring together and forming parallel state institutions. The New York Times

Issandr El Amrani

Project Director, North Africa
1 Nov 2016
The relationship [between Egypt and Saudi Arabia] is based on a kind of asymmetric, passive-aggressive, perpetual renegotiation. The New York Times

Issandr El Amrani

Project Director, North Africa
2 Aug 2016
Egypt is primarily seen in Washington as a problem and not as a source of solutions. The New York Times

Issandr El Amrani

Project Director, North Africa

Latest Updates

Keeping Egypt’s Politics on the Agenda

Still grappling with its post-2011 turbulence, Egypt's economy and politics require urgent stabilisation. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – First Update early-warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to balance support for Egypt's economic reform with a strategy that seeks to fix the country's broken political system.

Open Letter to Chancellor Merkel

Uncritical engagement with Egypt will not promote European interests, says European Working Group on Egypt ahead of Chancellor Merkel's visit to Cairo.