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Egypt

CrisisWatch Egypt

Unchanged Situation

Authorities sought to purge state institutions of outlawed Muslim Brotherhood amid steps toward reconciliation with Ankara. Egyptian newspaper Al-Shorouk 3 May reported parliament was set to discuss draft law aimed at removing civil servants suspected of supporting or sympathising with Islamist organisation Muslim Brotherwood (MB); bill comes after Transport Minister Kamel al-Wazir late April blamed recent spate of deadly train accidents, which prompted calls for his resignation, on “extremists” working in railway sector. Several NGOs, including Democracy for the Arab World Now, in following days criticised bill as “persecution” of MB members. Jihadist violence in Sinai Peninsula persisted at low level; suspected Sinai Province militants 1 May killed three civilians in Al-Arish area. Turkish delegation led by Deputy FM Sedat Önal 5 May visited Cairo to discuss re-establishing diplomatic ties; both sides recorded some progress, but presence of MB members in Turkey and Turkish troops in Libya remained stumbling blocks to full reconciliation; Egyptian delegation expected to visit Turkey in coming weeks. In possible warning to Addis Ababa and preparation for possible escalation of tensions amid reports Ethiopia had started second filling of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Sudan and Egypt 26-31 May held third joint military exercise since Nov 2020 (see Nile Waters). After violent conflict broke out between Israel and Palestinian armed factions in Gaza Strip, Cairo mid-May sent ambulances to Gaza and opened Rafah crossing to allow passage of humanitarian aid; also played leading role in brokering 20 May ceasefire (see Israel-Palestine).

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

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
26 Feb 2018
What you are seeing [among the nations along the Nile] is a proxy conflict of who should be the regional hegemon, Egypt or Ethiopia. The Daily Free Press

Rashid Abdi

Former Project Director, Horn of Africa
3 Feb 2018
[Egypt's President] Sisi's appointment as minister of defence in 2012 was partly predicated on a move to sideline [Retired Egyptian General Sami Hafez]. The Sydney Morning Herald

Issandr El Amrani

Former Project Director, North Africa
19 Jan 2018
[The dispute about future management of the Nile] is a proxy conflict over who should be the regional hegemon, Egypt or Ethiopia. World Politics Review

Rashid Abdi

Former Project Director, Horn of Africa

Latest Updates

Podcast / Africa

The Horn: As Rains Begin, Crisis Looms over the Nile Dam

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

With rains swelling the Blue Nile, Ethiopia is just weeks away from beginning to fill the massive dam it is building. Egypt and Sudan demand that it not do so without an agreement. All three countries urgently need to make concessions for a deal.

Podcast / Africa

The Dangers of Deadlock in the Nile Dam Talks

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.

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.

Also available in العربية

Tackling the MENA Region’s Intersecting Conflicts

How can the dizzying changes, intersecting crises and multiplying conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa since the 2011 Arab uprisings be best understood, let alone responded to? This long-form commentary by MENA Program Director Joost Hiltermann and our team steps back for a better look and proposes new approaches.

Also available in العربية