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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.

CrisisWatch Egypt

Unchanged Situation

Fighting intensified in Sinai Peninsula, and repression of opposition activists showed no sign of abating. High levels of violence reported in Sinai since late March between Islamic State (ISIS)-affiliated Sinai Province (SP) militants on one hand, and govt forces and allied tribal militias on the other; SP also continued to abduct civilians. Sniper fire 1 April killed one soldier in Al-Buhaira area near Bir al-Abd town. SP operatives 2-3 April killed at least two people suspected of collaborating with army in Bir al-Abd area; 8 April abducted two agricultural workers from field in Jalbana area, west of al-Arish town, and three residents of Malsaq town, Bir al-Abd region. Army and allied tribal forces 4 April killed one suspected SP militant and arrested another south of Sheikh Zuweid town; tribal militia 11 April claimed militiamen in cooperation with army had in recent days cleared certain areas around Rafah city and Sheikh Zuweid town of SP militants, killing five SP operatives in Rafah area. Five ISIS operatives reportedly killed 24 April south of Rafah in counter-terrorism operations. Exchanges of fire between suspected militants and Sinai Tribal Union fighters in Al-Muqata’a area near Sheikh Zuweid 22-25 April left at least seven killed. Gunfire 25 April targeted army patrol in same area, killing two soldiers. Meanwhile, after authorities 9 April announced death of economist and opposition party official Ayman Hadhoud, who disappeared in Feb, NGO Egyptian Organization for Human Rights 11 April called for investigation into his death. Italian court same day suspended trial of four Egyptian security officers accused of detaining and killing Italian researcher Giulio Regeni in 2016, citing Cairo’s refusal to cooperate and locate officers. In apparent reaffirmation of Turkey’s commitment to normalising relations with Egypt, senior Turkish official early April reportedly said Ankara would soon appoint ambassador to Egypt for first time in nine years.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

10 May 2022
Egypt is something of a special case vis-a-vis the West because of both its robust relations with Russia and being a key US partner in the Middle East. The National

Michael Wahid Hanna

Program Director, U.S.
12 Jul 2021
Egypt’s more constructive and pragmatic regional role in recent months has produced good will and breathing space for Cairo, but at root this approach to regional affairs is reflective of Egypt’s own self-interests and not a byproduct of its relationship with the United States. Politico

Michael Wahid Hanna

Program Director, U.S.
26 Jun 2021
Cairo has been trying to mobilize support for its position on the GERD with the Nile Basin countries for years [...] to exert as much diplomatic pressure as possible on Ethiopia to force it to make concessions [on negotiations]. Al Monitor

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
23 Sep 2019
[In Egypt, anti-government] protests have now pierced the ‘wall of fear’ and are a major source of concern for the regime. Twitter

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
25 Mar 2018
For [the Egyptian government], development and economic growth come after the ISIS problem is resolved, and that is taking much longer than they anticipated. Al Jazeera

Issandr El Amrani

Former Project Director, North Africa
8 Mar 2018
While [Sudan] wants to show [its] independence from Egypt on the diplomatic front, [it] can’t afford to have a more powerful enemy, such as Egypt, that can affect [its] relationship with the Gulf states. MadaMasr

Magnus Taylor

Former Analyst, Horn of Africa

Latest Updates

Podcast / Africa

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The Horn of Africa faces myriad crises. Beyond the potentially devastating impact of COVID-19 on politics and the economy, the region is grappling with deeply troubled transitions, cross-border jihadism and remains a playground for great power competition. In this Episode, Host Alan Boswell and William Davison, Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for Ethiopia, discuss Ethiopia's plans to start filling the massive dam it is building, including the complex dynamics at play, negotiations, and the parties' varius concerns.

Video / Africa

Reducing tensions as Ethiopia Moves to Fill its Blue Nile Dam

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Podcast / Africa

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The Horn of Africa faces myriad crises. Beyond the potentially devastating impact of COVID-19 on politics and the economy, the region is grappling with deeply troubled transitions, cross-border jihadism and remains a playground for great power competition. In this episode, Alan Boswell is joined by Harry Verhoeven, a leading academic expert on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam to discuss everything from the politicisation of the dam to environmental sustainability and agricultural productivity in the Nile Basin.

Commentary / Africa

Calming the Choppy Nile Dam Talks

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Report / Africa

Bridging the Gap in the Nile Waters Dispute

Ethiopia is building a mighty dam on the Blue Nile, promising economic benefits for both itself and Sudan. But Egypt fears for its freshwater supply. The parties should agree on how fast to fill the dam’s reservoir and how to share river waters going forward.

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