Sherif Ismail - File photo
CAIRO – 24 July 2017: Several meetings will be held with Warraq residents to correct misconceptions regarding the eviction and displacement of its citizens, according to a governmental report released by the Cabinet on Monday, July 24.
The government has denied rumors of evacuation of Warraq residents for investment projects and cutting off water and facilities from the island, noting that it will remove only the encroachments on the country’s land.
The security forces directed to the island to demolish the uninhabited and allegedly illegal buildings were instructed not to remove inhabited buildings and agricultural lands, according to the report.
There are no exceptions to law, as 80% of illegal houses of the rich will be demolished and the resolution of removing encroachments will be implemented on an equal footing in all governorates, highlighted the government.
Warraq Island is the biggest island in Egypt’s Nile, located in the Warraq district of Giza, and is home to 60,000 residents that depend mainly on agriculture and fishing for living. Its residents suffer from the absence of sewage networks, facilities and hospitals, as well as water pollution.
After President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi held a conference entitled “Removing encroachments on the country’s properties”, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail ordered the government to prioritize reclaiming state-owned land from squatters causing a crisis in Warraq.
However, its residents claimed that they have their rights to live on the island, providing documents to Ismail to prove that they are owners of the land, not squatters.
Security forces were directed to Warraq Island on Sunday, July 17 to remove the illegal buildings, but they withdrew after violent clashes with its residents, in which one person was killed, along with lots of injuries to police and citizens.