Sisi extends state of emergency in North Sinai for 3 months

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has extended a state of emergency in designated areas of the North Sinai governorate for three further months, the state’s official gazette reported.

The initial decision to impose the state of emergency came in August 2013 by then-interim President Adly Mansour when violent unrest gripped the country following the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

The decision has since been extended for three-months at a time, with the latest being in January 2016.

The recent decision was made due to the “dangerous security circumstances” that the governorate is facing. The emergency measures are to be applied in areas starting from the east of Rafah Hill passing by the international boundary line and until Al-Awga west of Al-Arish.

It also extends until Al-Halal mountain and north from the west of Al-Arish passing from the coast and until the international borders in Rafah, and south of al-Halal mountain until Al-Awga on the international border line.

The decision, which was to be applied as of 29 April, will start to take effect after Egypt’s parliament approves it. It has been previously applied automatically as the country has been without a parliament since 2012.

A night-time curfew – from 7pm (17:00 GMT) to 6am (04:00 GMT) – will be imposed in these areas, though El-Arish and the international road from the Al-Midan checkpoint and the entrance to Al-Arish city from the west will see a four-hour curfew starting from 1am until 5am or until further notice.

The decree states that any citizen found in public during curfew hours will be imprisoned according to a 1958 law, with the armed forces and police undergoing necessary measures to fight the “dangers of terrorism and its funding and maintaining security in the area and protecting public and private property and the preservation of the lives of citizens.”

Egyptian security forces are grappling with an Islamist insurgency based in parts of the North Sinai governorate that spiked following the 2013 ouster of Morsi.

The insurgency has killed hundreds of Egyptian security forces, while the armed forces have said their operations have killed hundreds of militants in the area.

source: Ahram Online

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