CAIRO - 27 February 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has launched a national initiative to all Egyptians to take part in developing Sinai.
On Sunday, in the military uniform, President Sisi paid a visit to the Unified Command of East of the Canal To Combat Terrorism, stressing, “The inauguration of the Unified Command of the East of the Canal To Combat Terrorism came in light of the comprehensive development of the Armed Forces’ capabilities, enabling them to effectively play their role in countering-terrorism,” Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Radi said.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi meets with the Housing Minister and the Prime Minister on Feb 27, 2018- Press Photo
The president also visited the headquarters of the military operation room, which is responsible for running the military full-scale operation against terrorists “Sinai 2018”. He was also updated on the operation success over the past 15 days in North Sinai, as well as on the military’s full control over Egyptian ground and maritime borders to prevent terrorist infiltration and weapon trafficking, Radi added.
The military operations in Sinai pave the way for large-scale development in the Sinai Peninsula. President Sisi affirmed that the comprehensive development for Sinai started in 2014 and will last until 2022, with a cost estimated at LE 275 billion ($15.5 billion), Radi continued, noting that Sisi has called on Egyptian businessmen to invest in Sinai as the area is Egypt’s primary security issue.
The "Sinai 2018" security operation has been a definite outcome of military endeavors and investigations that have been ongoing since 2013, Egypt’s presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi stressed in televised statements on Friday.
Following the Al-Rawdah terrorist attack on November 24, 2017, which claimed the lives of at least 311 people – roughly 22 percent of male residents of Al-Rawdah village in Sinai – both military and police forces have intensified their security operations against terrorist hotbeds.
“President Sisi has affirmed that the upcoming period will witness a comprehensive confrontation to purge Sinai Peninsula from terrorism,” Radi added.
Earlier, Radi revealed to
that the ongoing security operation is a normal “outcome that follows several successful operations and strikes that have been launched by police and military forces since 2013.”
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is listening to Army Chief-of-Staff Mohamed Farid during his visit tothe East of the Canal Command's headquarters on Feb 25, 2018- Press Photo
Sinai 2018 Operation in 18 days
During Sisi’s visit to the East of the Canal Command's headquarters, Army Chief-of-Staff Mohamed Farid provided details about the planning and implementation measures of the operation with its results over the past days to uproot terrorism from Sinai and to impose security control over land and coastal boundary as well as hubs where weapons and ammunition are supplied and smuggled to terrorists.
He added that the Armed Forced coordinated with all the country’s institutions to provide social and health insurance by supplying them with ambulances and logistic services and facilities along with financial compensations and exceptional pensions to Northern Sinai citizens, reducing any negative effect of the operations.
Farid submitted a report on the operation’s results, stressing that it is implemented not only in Northern Sinai but from the Suez Canal to the eastern borders of Sinai, and the armed forces have achieved great success in it.
He further explained that the Armed Forces have distributed food supplies: 615 tons of food commodities through National Service Products Organization, around 450 tons of wheat, 1120 supplementary general food rations estimated as 5,000 food rations daily, 9,600 gas cylinders, and 35,000 liters of petrol.
Sinai development operation since 2013
Referring to the national project to develop Sinai, Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouly confirmed that roads, archaeological sites and natural reserves in Sinai have been developed as part of the plan, based upon Sisi's directives.
A general view of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, as it undergoes construction, along the river Nile in Benishangul Gumuz Region, Guba Woreda, Ethiopia March 31, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
Chairman of the Armed Forces Engineering Authorities Kamel al-Wazir reviewed several national projects implemented within the framework of Sinai comprehensive development plan, including establishing fish farms, industrial regions, Bardawil Airport in Central Sinai, 15 hospitals and 8,000 housing units along with upgrading nine hospitals.
A machinery operates on border with Egypt in Rafah in the southern of Gaza Strip July 5, 2017- Reuters
“Coordination between tribes and armed forces in eliminating terrorism is at the highest level. There are ongoing meetings with the tribes supporting the military operation. No traitor is among us. Rumors saying that the tribes do not support the state are not true at all. Tribes support and participate in the arrest of dangerous terrorist elements,” said MP Hossam el-Refaay to Egypt Today.
“By the end of the military operation, Egypt will launch an extensive development process and there will be large projects in Sinai to provide opportunities for the people of Sinai. After the eradication of terrorism, Sinai will be transformed to a new Sinai. President Sisi will order the acceleration of Sinai’s development. Moreover, the infrastructure of a number of Sinai’s cities and villages, including the area of Bi’r al-Abd, will be developed,” Member of Parliament representing North Sinai governorate Hegazy Saad told Egypt Today on February 18.
Post- Sinai 2018
After the elimination of terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula, well-trained military forces have to be located in the region to prevent reemergence of extremist and terrorist elements from infiltrating into Sinai. Moreover, the national initiative to develop Sinai is expected to inhabit six million Egyptians in Sinai by the end of 2030, sources revealed to Egypt Today.
The sources stressed that 1500 job vacancies will be offered to Sinai’s inhabitants, following the end of the Sinai 2018 security operation.
A new fish farm linked to Lake Bardawil, on the north coast of the Sinai Peninsula, will be established and is expected to be bigger than Berket Ghalioun in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate. This new fish farm is aimed to export fish to Italy, the sources added.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi discusses with the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority the progress in
The sources revealed various future projects to be accomplished after the success of the Sinai 2018 security operation, including:
• Another fish farm on 100 acres in El Tor, South Sinai, will be inaugurated on June 30 for local consumption.
• Arish Port’s platforms will be increased and enlarged to be capable of receiving 20 ships instead of four.
• The first phase of the New Rafah City will be opened, consisting of 216 buildings and 200 Bedouin houses from a total of 625 buildings and 400 Bedouin houses on roughly 535 acres.
• In June, a new low-cost housing project will be inaugurated, including 50 buildings, in Arish City.
• In September, El Maghara Coal Mine will re-operate and produce more than 125,000 tons as an initial phase until it reaches 600,000 tons annually. The produced coal will be used in generating electricity in 2020.
• In September, King Salman University will open three branches in Sharm el-Sheikh, El-Tor and Ras Sidr.
• In June, 2020, King Salman University will open new faculties in the above-mentioned three universities, along with an educational hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh’s branch.
• In June 30, President Sisi is expected to travel from Africa to Asia by car via the Suez Canal’s new tunnels; marking a significant moment when moving between Africa and Asia will take only a few minutes instead of long hours.
President Abdel Fatah al Sisi and the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud held an Egyptian-Saudi summit on the sidelines of the 28th Arab Summit in the Dead Sea, Jordan on March 29, 2017- Press Photo