Human Rights

Sinai Launches Development Projects to Clear Effects of Terrorism

North Africa

Military and police forces have been conducting a major operation in northern and central Sinai since February 9 to purge the area from ISIS-affiliated militants.

Construction of infrastructure for so-called “agricultural development communities projects” is taking place in various areas in central Sinai.

These projects aim at filling deserted areas with integrated population groups, combining the resettlement of residents from all Egyptian governorates in the region with securing their source of agricultural and industrial production.

The areas that the Egyptian government has been working on include 11 development complexes financed by Arab funds.

These complexes are being prepared to join farmers from the Egyptian governorates in Delta and Upper Egypt with nomadic tribespeople to break the isolation and fill the areas.

Military and police forces have been conducting a major operation in northern and central Sinai since February 9 to purge the area from ISIS-affiliated militants.

The operation is known as the Comprehensive Operation – Sinai 2018.

The extremist group has killed hundreds of soldiers, policemen, and civilians, especially in North Sinai.

“Many routes, roads and mountain ranges in central Sinai are considered an empty desert dune used by extremist militants to escape and hide,” a tribal source in North Sinai told Asharq Al-Awsat, adding that terrorist spots have been detected and cleared in that area.

“These projects are multi-functional and operate areas suitable for agriculture, and they have been extended by road facilities and power lines,” Sheikh Jazi Saad, member of the Egyptian House of Representatives for central Sinai Department, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He said water was provided by drilling wells at deep depths, followed by construction work for each complex, including farms to produce crops, such as pomegranates, palm trees, and olives, to be cultivated in those territories and cultivation of vegetables as well as the establishment of fish ponds.

“Some of the villagers received agricultural lands in these areas, and farmers have cultivated their crops for this year in the framework of trial,” Saad explained.

He believes that people in North Sinai are look forward for these projects, especially that all of them are members of Bedouin tribes who rely on their livelihood on simple agricultural work, grazing, and some of them are public sector employees.

Image: Reuters

Article: Asharq al-Awsat