Category Archives: Egypt

USA, State Dpt.: Egyptian Court Sentencing Recommendations

From: U.S. Department of State
Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 28, 2014

The United States is deeply concerned by today’s Egyptian court actions related to another mass trial and preliminary death sentences as well as the banning of the April 6 Youth Movement activities. Today’s preliminary death sentences against 683 defendants and the upholding of death sentences against 37 defendants from a March 25 decision are unconscionable.

As the Secretary has said, it is impossible to believe that such proceedings could satisfy even the most basic standards of justice, let alone meet Egypt’s obligations under international human rights law. We again urge Egyptian authorities to remedy the situation and reverse these court rulings and ensure due process for the accused on the merits of individual cases. We continue to urge the Egyptian Government to suspend future mass trials of Egyptians.

Today’s decision by a court of urgent matters to ban the activities of The April 6 Youth Movement is also troubling. Supporters of the movement were at the forefront of the January 25, 2011 revolution that overthrew former president Mubarak, and the Government of Egypt must allow for the peaceful political activism that the group practices if Egypt’s interim Government intends to transition to democracy, as it has committed itself to do.

These court decisions run counter to the most basic democratic principles and foster the instability, extremism, and radicalization that Egypt’s interim Government says it seeks to resolve. We urge the Egyptian Government to demonstrate – through actions rather than words – its support for the universal human rights and freedoms and democratic, accountable governance that the Egyptian people continue to demand.

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USA & Egypt: Readout of Secretary Kerry’s Call With Egyptian Foreign Minister Fahmy

From: U.S. Department of State
Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC

April 22, 2014

Today, Secretary Kerry spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Fahmy to inform him that he is certifying to Congress that Egypt is sustaining the strategic relationship with the United States – including by countering transnational threats such as terrorism and weapons proliferation – and that Egypt is upholding its obligations under the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. He reaffirmed that Egypt remains, as it has been for decades, an important strategic partner for the United States. The Secretary noted that he is not yet able to certify that Egypt is taking steps to support a democratic transition. He urged Egypt to follow through on its commitment to transition to democracy – including by conducting free, fair, and transparent elections, and easing restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, and the media – as Egypt will be more secure and prosperous if it respects the universal rights of its citizens.


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The Arab Republic of Egypt Draft Constitution 2013 New Constitutional Document

From: Yona Maro

The Arabic Republic of Egypt draft constitution 2013, new document after amending the suspended 2012 constitution.

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Egypt: ‘100 dead’ as Egyptian security forces start clearing out Cairo protest camps

From: Abdalah Hamis

– At the biggest camp in northeast Cairo, security forces fired tear gas
– Police helicopters circled above and army vehicles were stationed
– Muslim Brotherhood has claimed that 250 have been killed today
– The group also said that more than 5,000 have been injured so far


As many as 100 people have been killed according to reports, as Egyptian
security forces, backed by armoured cars and bulldozers, began to clear two
sit-in camps by supporters of the country’s ousted President Mohammed

At the biggest camp in northeast Cairo, security forces fired tear gas as
police helicopters circled above and army vehicles were stationed nearby.

The state news agency said security forces had started implementing a
phased plan to disperse the protesters, which is almost certain to deepen
political turmoil in Egypt.

Scroll down for video
[image: Chaos: A tent burns at one of the two sites occupied by protestors
until armed forces moved them on this morning. At least 25 are said to have
been killed today]

Chaos: A tent burns at one of the two sites occupied by protestors until
armed forces moved them on this morning. At least 25 are said to have been
killed today
[image: Clashes:]

Clashes: Smoke rises during clashes between riot police and members and
supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, at Rabba el Adwia Square in Cairo.
Egyptian security forces have started clearing out Cairo protest camps
which have been demanding the reinstatement of Morsi

[image: Unrest:]

Unrest: At the biggest camp in northeast Cairo, security forces fired tear
gas as police helicopters circled above and army vehicles were stationed

[image: Movement:]

Movement: An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows police forces
moving in to disperse a huge protest camp set up outside the Rabaa
al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo

While initial reports have suggested that around 25 protestors have been
killed in one of the protest camps and security forces have confirmed the
deaths of two of their personnel, the Muslim Brotherhood is claiming that
at least 250 are dead.

The movement’s spokesman Gehad El-Haddad took to Twitter to make the claim,
adding that more than 5,000 people have been injured.


– Egyptian schoolgirl, 10, gunned down as she walked home from a bible
study class
– Israeli Iron Dome defence system shoots down rocket launched towards
Red Sea resort

But those estimates are unconfirmed.

The simultaneous actions by the Egyptian forces – at the pro-Morsi
encampment in Nasr City and at the site outside the main campus of Cairo
University in Giza – began at around 7am local time.

Regional television networks have been broadcasting images of collapsed
tents and burning tires at both sites, with ambulances on standby.

Footage showed dozens of protesters being arrested and led away by
black-clad policemen.

State television showed footage of some dozen protesters, mostly bearded,
cuffed and sitting on a sidewalk under guard outside the Cairo University
[image: Breaking in: A bulldozer is seen in television reports breaking
down a barricade into one of the protest camps]

Breaking in: A bulldozer is seen in television reports breaking down a
barricade into one of the protest camps

[image: Attack: Egyptian security forces throw tear gas towards supporters
of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi at a sit-in in Cairo]

Attack: Egyptian security forces throw tear gas towards supporters of
ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi at a sit-in in Cairo

[image: Action: Protestors can be seen behind a barricade in the background
as tear gas is fired at protestors earlier today]

Action: Protestors can be seen behind a barricade in the background as tear
gas is fired at protestors earlier today

The smaller of the two camps was cleared of protesters by late morning,
with most of them taking refuge in the nearby Orman botanical gardens and
inside the sprawling campus of Cairo University.

Security forces remained on the fringes of the other camp in the eastern
Nasr City district after it showered the encampment with tear gas.

Television footage from there showed thousands of protesters congregating
at the heart of the site, with many wearing gas masks or covering their
faces to fend off the tear gas.

A security official, who spoke anonymously, said that as many as 200
protestors had been arrested.

At the Nasr City site, ambulances are also seen at the scene, and there are
reports of some protesters being arrested and led away by the troops.

The pan-Arab Al-Arabiya TV is showing images of collapsed tents and burning
tires at the Nasr City protest site.

Ambulances are also seen at the scene, as well as some protesters being
arrested and led away by the troops.

VIDEO: Violent clashes as Egyptian security forces clear Cairo protest

Violent clashes as Egyptian security forces clear Cairo protest…
[image: Clearing out:]

Clearing out: Supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi stand
behind sand barriers recently set up where supporters of Morsi have
installed a camp. At least 15 people have been killed as Egyptian security
forces, backed by armoured cars and bulldozers, began to clear two sit-in
[image: Operation: Supporters of Egypt’s ousted Pre]

Operation: Supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi rest in a
tent outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where protesters have installed a
camp and held daily rallies at Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt

Officials confirmed that a number of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood
group had been arrested in the move to clear out the protest camps.

None of those arrested have been named.

‘We have arrested a number of Brotherhood leaders but it’s too early to
announce their names,’ General Abdel Fattah Othman, a senior official in
the Interior Ministry, told the privately-owned CBC TV channel.
[image: Plans]

Plans: The state news agency said security forces had started implementing
a phased plan to disperse the protesters, which is almost certain to deepen
political turmoil in Egypt
[image: Camp]

Camp: A supporter of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi enters Nahda
Square, which is fortified with multiple walls of bricks, tires, metal
barricades and sandbags, where protesters have installed their camp near
Cairo University

The Anti-Coup Alliance, an umbrella of pro-Morsi supporters, said in a
statement that there are dozens of dead and injured so far in Wednesday’s

Eyewitness Ahshur Abid said 15 people were killed as the clearing operation

He said he saw their bodies at a field hospital at one of the camps.

There was no immediate official conformation of the deaths.

While supporters say that security forces used live ammunition, officials
denied the claims and said that they only fired tear gas on the camps.

A ministry statement also warned that forces would deal firmly with
protesters acting ‘irresponsibly,’ suggesting that it would respond in kind
if its men are fired upon.

It said it would guarantee safe passage to those who want to leave the Nasr
City site but would arrest those wanted for questioning by prosecutors.
[image: Blame:]

Tension: More than 300 people have already died in political violence since
the army overthrew Morsi on July 3, including dozens of his supporters
killed by security forces in two separate earlier incidents

Casualties treated at field hospital in Cairo (Graphic Content)

An Associated Press television video journalist at the scene of the larger
of the two camps said he could hear the screams of women as a cloud of
white smoke hung over the site in the eastern Cairo suburb.

He said an army bulldozer was removing mounds of sand bags and brick walls
built by the protesters as a defence line.

Army troops, however, were not taking part in the operation

More than 300 people have already died in political violence since the army
overthrew Morsi on July 3, including dozens of his supporters killed by
security forces in two separate earlier incidents.

Morsi became Egypt’s first freely elected leader in June 2012 but failed to
tackle deep economic malaise and worried many Egyptians with his apparent
efforts to tighten Islamist rule.

Jan. 25-Feb. 11, 2011 – Egyptians stage nationwide demonstrations against
the rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, who led the country for nearly three

The 18-day ‘revolution,’ launched by secular and leftist youth, draws in a
wide spectrum, including the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists.
Hundreds of protesters are killed as Mubarak and his allies try to crush
the uprising.

Feb. 11 2011 – Mubarak steps down and turns power over to the military. Two
days later, the body of top generals, the Supreme Council of the Armed
Forces, dissolves parliament and suspends the constitution, meeting two key
demands of protesters.

June 16-17 2011 – Egyptians vote in the presidential runoff between Morsi
and Shafiq. The generals issue a ‘constitutional declaration’ giving
themselves sweeping authorities and limiting the powers of the next
president. Morsi emerges as the victor, with 51.7 percent of the vote.

June 30 2011 – Morsi takes his formal oath of office before the Supreme
Constitutional Court, a day after reading a symbolic oath in Cairo’s Tahrir
Square, birthplace of the revolution.

Aug. 12 2011 – In a bold move, Morsi orders the retirement of the top
Mubarak-era leadership of the military and cancels the military’s last
constitutional decree, taking back the powers that the generals gave
themselves. The move was seen as way to curb the military’s role in
political affairs but it also gave Morsi the power to legislate in the
absence of parliament.

Nov. 22 2011 – Morsi unilaterally decrees greater authorities for himself,
giving his decisions immunity from judicial review and barring the courts
from dissolving the constituent assembly and the upper house of parliament.
The move came just ahead of court decisions that could have dissolved the
bodies. The move sparks days of protests, with clashes between Morsi’s
supporters and opponents. At one point, some 200,000 people rally in Tahrir
Square, with some of the first chants for Morsi to ‘leave.’

Dec. 4 2011 – More than 100,000 protesters march on the presidential
palace, demanding the cancellation of the referendum and the writing of a
new constitution. The next day, Islamists attack a peaceful anti-Morsi
sit-in outside the palace, sparking all-out street battles that leave at
least 10 dead. Days later, Morsi rescinds his initial decrees, but
maintains the date of the referendum.

Jan. 25, 2013 – Hundreds of thousands hold protests in Tahrir Square and
nationwide against Morsi on the 2-year anniversary of the start of the
revolt against Mubarak, and clashes erupt in many places.

Jan. 26 – Residents of the city of Port Said stage protests, angered by a
court ruling convicting and sentencing to death a group of local soccer
fans for a 2012 stadium riot. Police crack down hard in Port Said, killing
more than 40 protesters, and in outrage the city and others nearby go into
near revolt. Much of the anger is focused at Morsi, who praised the police
for their crackdown.

Feb.-March – Protests continue in Port Said and other cities for weeks,
with dozens more dying in clashes, and some police units around the country
go on strike. Brotherhood youth and their opponents fight in the streets
outside the group’s main Cairo headquarters.

June 30 — Millions of Egyptians take to the streets in Cairo and other
cities calling for Morsi to step down in a massive display of anger and
frustration with the Islamist leader. The demonstrations are largely
peaceful, although 16 people, half of them in clashes outside the Muslim
Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters, are killed in protest-related violence
nationwide. Organisers vow to keep up the protests until Morsi resigns.

July 1 – Demonstrations continue and Egypt’s military issues an ultimatum
for the two sides to come to a resolution within 48 hours or it will impose
its own solution.

July 3 – Egyptian media reports that President Morsi will either be sacked
or forced to stand down as the army’s deadline for a resolution approaches. The
head of the Egyptian army, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi later declares on
national TV that Morsi has been ousted from power, prompting a wave of
celebrations across the country.

July 4 – Judge in Egypt’s supreme court, Adly Mansour, sworn in as interim
president in Cairo.

July 5 – ‘Friday of Rage’ protests spark violent clashes that last into the
night, leaving a 36 dead and more than 1,000 people injured

July 7 – More than 50 are killed and 435 injured in clashes between
supporters of ousted President Morsi and armed forces at the Republican
Guard building in Cairo. Armed forces claim that they opened fire because a
‘terrorist group’ had attempted to storm the building.

July 9 – Interim head of state Adli Mansour sets a timetable of next year
for elections in the country leaving Egypt facing months of protests.

July 12 – Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters gather in Cairo and
say they will occupy a square in the city until Morsi is reinstated as

July 15 – At least seven killed in clashes between protestors and police in
Cairo. A further 261 are injured when locals and Muslim Brotherhood
supporters clash.

July 26 – More than 120 people were reportedly killed in another night of
violence in Cairo, according to the Muslim Brotherhood. Security forces
were said to have opened fire on a round the clock vigil for President
Morsi shortly before pre-dawn prayers.

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From: People For Peace
Voices of Justice for Peace
Regional News

TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2012

There are several reasons why Egypt will never be at peace despite the call by Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi for national unity following his victory in Egypt’s first democratically presidential elections. Mr Morsi won 51.73 percent of the vote in last-week’s run-off, beating former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq.

[image]Official symbol of Muslim Brotherhood
[image]President Morsi claims he will unite Egyptians

Although speaking on Egyptian television late on Sunday evening, Morsi vowed to “protect the rights of women and children”, as well as Christians and Muslims alike, the official symbol of Muslim Brotherhood and motto, Muslims are called to be prepared to fight the enemies of God, of which Christians are included.

[image][editorial cartoon] puppet, labeled Morsi; operated by Military and Islamic Clerics as the 2 pupeteers
Cartoon courtesy Daily Nation

The fact that the republic of Egypt has recognized Islam as the state religion since 1980, talking of protecting the rights of Christians is almost impossible. Egypt is predominantly Muslim, with around 80 million Muslims, comprising 94.7 percent of the population, as of 2010.

On June 30 last year Muslims looted and torched Christian homes and businesses in the village of western Kolosna in Samalut, Minya province. The violence broke out when a Coptic couple was returning to Kolosna by bus when the wife was severely sexually harassed by Muslims at the bus terminal. The husband tried to defend his wife but was severely beaten.

This is to signal that Christians have no business in that country. Police cannot help much since majority of them are Muslims. Christians have been harassed in an attempt to keep them from voting in the country’s presidential election.

Coptic Christians, being the largest religious minority in Egypt, are the most negatively affected by possibly discriminatory legistlation. They have faced increasing marginalization after the 1952 coup d’etat led by Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Until recently, Christians were required to obtain presidential approval for even minor repairs in churches. Although the law was eased in 2005 by handing down the authority of approval to the governors, Copts continue to face many obstacles in building new churches.

The Catholic population in Egypt is considerably small as compared to the rest of the Christian population in Egypt with only 14 dioceses. The Catholic population in Egypt is said to have begun during the British control of Egypt- many returned to Europe after the 1952 Revolution in Egypt, which also caused the overthrow and exile of King Farouk of Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood removed Hosni Mubarak from power for one reason- that he had stayed in power too long and failed to notice warning signs of change, most notably over lack of real democratic elections, rather than a cynical facsimile.

They also feared Mr. Mubarak was grooming his younger son Gamal for the top job, creating the kind of dynastic arrangement seen in North Korea and Syria. Promised 2010 elections would be “fair and free,” but this did not happen in the parliamentary polls in which tricks were used to invalidate all Muslim Brotherhood candidates, arguing that there was no way Mr. Mubarak’s ruling party gained around 90 percent of seats.

The Brotherhood also accused Mubarak of stashing estimated at US$30-billion offshore in the usual secret bank accounts in the U.S., Switzerland and Britain. There was also pricey real estate including a Georgian townhouse in London, handy for shopping at Harrods, and properties in Los Angeles, Washington and New York. Back home there was a luxurious villa in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh. Much of the loot was in the name of Mr. Mubarak’s wife, Suzanne, who has a British passport.

The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood opposes secular tendencies of Islamic nations and wants return to the precepts of the Qur’an and rejection of Western influences as well as extreme Sufism, and that it is the most powerful political force in Egypt, are some of the reasons that Egypt will not be the same again.

According to the Brotherhood’s motto, “Allah is their objective. The Prophet is their leader. Qur’an is their law. Jihad is their way. Dying in the way of Allah is their highest hope.” It explains why they made sure Mubarak was removed even if doing so could result to death. More than 800 people are thought to have been killed by the police during the protest.

Currently, the Egyptian Brotherhood exists as a militant clandestine group, and has been connected to many underground political operations. In other countries, they have more prominent roles, including parliamentary seats.

Their political party belongs to the “second generation” or “middle generation” (jil al-wasat). Many of the Egyptian Brotherhood members were activists in Islamist student organizations in the 1970s- they are skilled and politically savvy.

Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Brotherhood is the oldest and largest Islamist movement in the world, with affiliates in most Muslim countries and adherents in Europe and the United States. This demonstrates how forceful it is.

After a failed assassination attempt against Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nassar, the group was banned in 1954 and driven underground. New laws were passed during the Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak regimes that marked police harassment and severe punishment for anyone openly associated with the Brotherhood.

Although driven underground, the Brotherhood continued to provide social services to many poor Egyptians, a traditionally rural and religious sector that readily identified with the Brotherhood’s Islamist message.

The Muslim Brotherhood began to emerge in politics after suffering deadly suppression by the Mubarak regime. After senior leaders formally renounced and abandoned the use of terror, the Brotherhood began fielding parliamentary candidates as Independents during elections.

However, for the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi victory marks the beginning of the country’s government adherent to blatant religious-Islamist ideology. It has also marked the end of the era of secular colonels who ruled Egypt since the 1950s.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
People for Peace in Africa
Tel +254-7350-14559/+254-722-623-578

Peaceful world is the greatest heritage
That this generation can give to the generations
To come- All of us have a role.

Egyptian entrepreneur to establish new multi-billion sugar mill in Tanzania

Writes Leo Odera Omolo

An Egyptian entrepreneur plans to inject at least Tshs 396 billion {USD 200 million} into a sugar plantation and processing factory at a location near the Tanzanian capital, Dar Es Salaam.

Egyptian African Company for Investment and Development revealed it plans to acquire a plantation of between 10,000 acres and 20,000 acres in Rufiji, some 100 kilometers from Dar Es Salaam.

The company’s chairman Mostafa EL Ahwal said last week that the company expects to produce the first consignment of white sugar in the year 2014. The plantation in Rufiji, under Agro Forest Plantation Limited, will produce 500 tones to 750 tones of sugar per day translating into at least 120,000 tones of sugar per annum. This output is expected to help reduce the country’s reliance on sugar imports and bring prices down.

Tanzania is however, currently experiencing sugar glut with the sugar Board of Tanzania saying it has 460,000 tones of sugar, local demand is 380,000 metric tones per year.

Despite the increase in supply prices are still high at between Tshs 2,000 {USD 1.27} and Tshs 2,500 {USD 1.59} per kilogramme. The high prices have been attributed to factors such as transport and importation costs. Unreliable power supply and rising fuel costs, both major inputs in the manufacture of sugar, have also contributed to the high costs.

The increased production should also see Tanzania export more sugar as none of the East African Community member countries Is currently self sufficient in sugar production while the demand for the product continues to rise.

The entry of the Egyptian firm is the latest in a string of investments from the North African nation in Tanzania. Egypt Air recently resumed flights to Tanzania. The local project co–coordinator for Agro-Forest Plantation Ltd, Kiondo Mahanya, said that the focus of sugar production would include the smallholder farmers.

Tanzania may witness unprecedented levels of investment in the future because the regime in Egypt considers Africa a priority,” said the Egyptian ambassador to Tanzania HOSSAM Moharam.


Egypt’s transition: the democratic tests

from Yona Maro

As protestors take to Tahrir Square once again, this time to protest against Egypt’s interim military rulers, Alina Rocha Menocal reflects on the protests, mapping the problems of democratic transition, and argues that ousting Egypt’s dictator was only one step in an unavoidably rocky road towards democratisation.

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Egypt: Free Blogger Held in Maspero Case

from Yona Maro

(New York) – Egypt’s military prosecutor should immediately release an award-winning blogger charged in connection with the demonstration by Christian Copts on October 9, 2011, which turned deadly, Human Rights Watch said today. Alaa Abdel Fattah was detained and later charged with incitement and theft of a military weapon, even though the prosecutor had presented no evidence to support the charges. His detention came as military prosecutors started questioning activists and priests about their alleged involvement in publicly encouraging Copts to demonstrate on that day.

During the protest in the Maspero area, military vehicles ran over demonstrators and the military used excessive force to disperse protesters, resulting in the deaths of 27 civilians and one military officer. A November 2 report by the National Council for Human Rights, Egypt’s government-appointed human rights commission, said members of the military were responsible for killing demonstrators. Investigations related to this demonstration remain solely in the hands of military prosecutors, who have called in activists and priests for questioning but have refused to reveal any information about whether they are investigating any military officers for their roles in killing Coptic protesters.

“Instead of identifying which members of the military were driving the military vehicles that crushed 13 Coptic protesters, the military prosecutor is going after the activists who organized the march,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Abdel Fattah’s detention is a blatant effort to target one of the most vocal critics of the military. The prosecutor’s acts further entrench military impunity by failing to build public confidence that there will be a transparent investigation of those responsible for the deaths.”

On October 30 Abdel Fattah and Bahaa Saber, another political activist, appeared before the military prosecutor in response to an official summons. Prosecutors questioned them about their political affiliations and involvement in the protests at Maspero, but the two men refused to answer, saying they did not recognize the military’s authority to try civilians before military courts.

Abdel Fattah’s father, Ahmed Saif al-Islam, who is also serving as one of his defense lawyers, told Human Rights Watch that he and the team of defense lawyers contended during the interrogation that the military court was not competent to question civilians with regard to the Maspero violence because the military itself was party to the violence and the head of the military police was responsible for the deaths of protesters.

In response, the military prosecutor ordered Abdel Fattah’s detention for 15 days. The prosecutor released Saber pending further investigation.

On November 3 the head of the military justice system released a statement saying the military prosecutor had charged Abdel Fattah with “theft of a military weapon, the destruction of military property, incitement to the assault of military officers, illegally demonstrating and use of force against members of the armed forces.” At no point in the proceedings has the prosecutor presented any evidence against Abdel Fattah. Given the absence of evidence, Human Rights Watch believes it is highly likely that the charges were trumped up and are politically motivated, related to Abdel Fattah’s activism. On November 3 his lawyers filed an appeal against his detention, which the prosecutor rejected and on November 14, the prosecutor renewed Abdel Fattah’s detention for a further 15 days.

Abdel Fattah is an award-winning blogger and activist who has been one of the most vocal critics of abuses by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the interim governing authority in Egypt. Abdel Fattah has written regular columns in the independent daily Al Shorouk and appeared on private satellite TV stations such as ON TV. The Mubarak government imprisoned him in 2006 for 45 days for participating in protests calling for judicial independence. The Egyptian daily Al Shorouk and The Guardian published a letter written by Abdel Fattah on November 1 in which he wrote, “I never expected to repeat the experience of five years ago: after a revolution that deposed the tyrant, I go back to his jails?”

“The military government has no business prosecuting Abdel Fattah, or any other civilian, in a military court, much less in a case involving the military’s own unlawful violence against protesters,” Whitson said. “These charges presented without evidence against one of the country’s best known activists are further reflection of the military’s desire to silence its critics.”

Investigation of Protest Organizers on Charges of Incitement

Military prosecutors have summoned at least seven people – five activists and two priests – to question them about allegations that they incited the demonstration and attacked the military, based on an October 17 police report by the Interior Ministry’s criminal investigations department. The report claimed to identify 12 individuals and seven political activist groups, including the April 6 Youth Movement, the Maspero Youth Movement, and Copts Without Chains, as responsible for inciting the events at Maspero.

Based on this report, military prosecutors opened an investigation, case number 855 of 2011, at the East Cairo Military Criminal Court, and started summoning people for questioning. Defense lawyers who saw the report during the interrogation of their clients told Human Rights Watch that it contained a list of generalized charges against all 12 people named without providing any evidence or even narrating specific facts to link any of the accused to the charges. The charges include illegally demonstrating in front of the TV building to harm public order, inciting to violence against the armed forces, inciting and participating in the destruction of military property and vehicles, and membership in an organization that seeks to harm public order.

“The military is relying on Mubarak’s old playbook, charging activists with absurdly vague offenses such as ‘illegally demonstrating,’” Whitson said. “These laws have no place in an Egypt that respects the rights of its citizens to organize, assemble, and protest.”

Those listed in the Interior Ministry’s report as prime suspects in the incitement investigation are:

Mina Daniel, activist, shot dead on October 9 during the Maspero protest
Ramy Kamel, member of the Maspero Youth Union, interrogated on October 27
Hany Geziri, has not received a summons yet
Joseph Nasrallah, lives in the United States
Father Filopeter Gamil Aziz, interrogated on October 26
Father Mitias Nasr, interrogated on October 20
Sherif Ramzy Aziz, member of Copts without Chains, interrogated on October 26
Ibram Louis, member of the April 6 Youth Movement and of Copts without Chains, interrogated on Oct 27
Sarwat Kamal
Sabry Zachary
Bahaa Saber, activist, interrogated on October 30
Alaa Abdel Fattah, blogger and activist, interrogated on October 30

Daniel was shot dead with a live bullet during the violence at Maspero. The autopsy stated that a bullet had entered the top of his back and exited through his stomach in the front, indicating that it must have been fired from a height. His sister Mary Daniel spoke at a news conference on November 3 organized by the campaign group No To Military Trials, saying, “I was stunned, didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I heard [that he was a suspect], after they killed him they now want to ruin his reputation. They may have silenced Mina but there will be a hundred Minas who come after him.”

Said Fawzy, defense lawyer for Ramzy, a member of Copts without Chains, and Louis, a member of Copts without Chains and the April 6 Youth Movement, told Human Rights Watch that the military had questioned them on the basis of their memberships in those activist groups. Hany Ramsis, defense lawyer for Kamel, an active member of the Maspero Youth Union, told Human Rights Watch that the military prosecutor had asked Kamel about his involvement in the group and the October 9 demonstration.

The April 6 Youth Movement leader, Mohamed Adel, who is serving in the army as a conscript, was summoned to the military prosecutor on October 27 on allegations of having incited the Maspero protest. His lawyer Gamal Eid told Human Rights Watch that the charges against him were dropped when his presiding officer confirmed that Adel had not left the military base that day.

Two priests, Father Mitias Nasr and Father Filopeter Gamil Aziz, were among those the prosecutor summoned for questioning about incitement allegations, on October 20 and 26 respectively. Mitias told Human Rights Watch that he had thought the prosecutor was summoning him to take his testimony about a complaint Mitias had submitted against Gen. Ibrahim El Maty, deputy head of the military police, accusing military police officers of attacking peaceful protesters on October 6. The military prosecutor interrogated Aziz, priest of the Virgin and Maryohanna Church in Giza, on allegations of incitement and abusing religion to cause sectarian violence and the destruction of military property and assaulting members of the military.

No Transparency About Whether Military Officers Being Investigated

The civilian Office of the Public Prosecutor has referred all complaints filed by the families of victims killed or injured at Maspero to the military prosecutor, who is exercising sole jurisdiction over the Maspero investigation. Military prosecutors are investigating 31 people, mostly Copts, arrested on the evening of October 9 and charged with assaulting military officers.

Prosecutors are refusing to tell the lawyers whether anyone is being investigated for the killing of protesters through live gunfire and crushing by military vehicles. A human rights lawyer, Taher Abul Nasr, confirmed to Human Rights Watch that lawyers representing victims have been unable to view any of the prosecutor’s reports to determine whether prosecutors are interviewing any military officers driving the armored personnel carriers (APC) or otherwise deployed that evening.

Said Fayez, the lawyer for the Daniel family, told Human Rights Watch that despite the fact that he is representing one of the victims, he has not been able to obtain any information about whether military prosecutors are interrogating any military officers for their role in the violence and therefore whether there is any genuine investigation of military responsibility. Fayez said that the Office of the Public Prosecutor sent all the complaints submitted by the families of victims to the military prosecutors under one case number.

Vivian Magdy, who was with her fiancé, Michael Mus’ad, when he was crushed by an APC on the evening of October 9, said at a news conference organized by the No To Military Trials Groupon November 2 that she went to the military prosecutor to give her testimony but the prosecutor only asked her about whether she saw “thugs” attacking the military.

“The military justice system is not going to bring justice for Michael’s killing,” she said. “Only civilians can do this. The time for silence is over, this massacre cannot happen again, it can’t happen again.”

Egypt’s military has tried at least 12,000 people before military courts this year. Despite the military’s vague promises to limit the use of military courts, there are at least four ongoing investigations before the military prosecutor, including the cases of the 28 Copts arrested on the night of Maspero and charged with assaulting military officers. Human Rights Watch has previously set out thereasons that only a civilian judicial body can conduct an independent and impartial investigation into the events at Maspero, since the military is directly implicated in the violence at the demonstration.

Military Responsibility for the Maspero Massacre

From its first reactions in response to the violence at Maspero, the military has blamed external forces for the deaths. In an October 12 news conference, Gen. Adel Emara blamed “foreign elements” and “incitement and threats by political personalities and religious men to gather in front of the TV building at Maspero” for the violence. He went on to say that, “There has not been a case of rolling over people with vehicles,” and instead that the people controlling the armored military vehicles at the demonstration were “trying to avoid running into protesters, not rolling over them.”

Human Rights Watchinterviewed 20 participants in the demonstration who consistently said that between 6 and 7 p.m. on October 9, at least two APCs were driven recklessly through crowds of demonstrators, in some cases appearing to pursue the demonstrators intentionally. The evidence overwhelmingly suggested that the protest of thousands of Copts had been peaceful until the point that the APCs were driven through the crowds, and that the military’s subsequent response to violence by some of the demonstrators was disproportionate. The large, heavy vehicles crushed and killed at least 10 demonstrators, as autopsies later showed.

On November 2 the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), Egypt’s national human rights commission, released the report of its fact-finding committee on Maspero. It concluded that three APCs “moved one after another, at great speed along the Corniche toward the October Bridge … the movement of the first two APCs in the midst of demonstrators was fast and circular, they changed their direction from the October bridge to the opposite direction toward Maspero. As a result of the extreme speed at which the first and second APCs were driving, they ran over a number of demonstrators, killing at least 12.” The NCHR said that the military had violated the right to life but was less categorical on whether the military had used live ammunition, saying that some statements confirmed they had but others had said they had only used sound bullets and that the military had denied the use of live gunfire.

The report also stated that the group had little faith in a government fact-finding committee. On October 10 the cabinet established a six-member government fact-finding committee headed by Assistant Justice Minister Amr Marwan to “investigate the causes of the Maspero events, the instigators and all those responsible… in addition to investigating the truth of what happened in the village of Marinab, including reviewing the results of the investigations conducted by the public prosecution.”

The committee has thus far visited Marinab on October 12 to investigate the destruction of the church there, one of the reasons for the October 9 demonstration, but has yet to make public its findings and it does not formally have the power to question any members of the military or to access any of the investigations conducted by military prosecutors. An earlier Justice Ministry-led fact-finding committee set up to investigate the excessive use of force by the military in breaking up a demonstration in Tahrir square on April 9 has yet to make public any of its findings.

In the draft principles on military justice adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, principle no. 9 states: “In all circumstances, the jurisdiction of military courts should be set aside in favor of the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts to conduct inquiries into serious human rights violations such as extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and torture, and to prosecute and try persons accused of such crimes.” In the European Court of Human Rights Case Al-Skeini and others v UK, the court found that:
For an investigation into alleged unlawful killing by State agents to be effective, it is necessary for the persons responsible for and carrying out the investigation to be independent from those implicated in the events… a prompt response by the authorities in investigating a use of lethal force may generally be regarded as essential in maintaining public confidence in their adherence to the rule of law and in preventing any appearance of collusion in or tolerance of unlawful acts. For the same reasons, there must be a sufficient element of public scrutiny of the investigation or its results to secure accountability in practice as well as in theory.

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Egypt: Don’t Deport Eritreans

from Yona Maro

(Geneva) – The Egyptian authorities are preparing to deport 118 detained Eritreans to Eritrea, where they risk persecution, Human Rights Watch said today. On October 29, 2011, guards at the al-Shalal prison in Aswan beat the 118 men, including 40 who already have refugee status, to force them to sign papers for their “voluntary” return to Eritrea, according to sources with access to the detainees.

Egypt should stop forcing detained Eritreans to sign repatriation forms and allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to interview all detained Eritreans to identify refugees among them, Human Rights Watch said. According to UNHCR, it has already registered 40 of the group as refugees in Sudan and Ethiopia. The renewed deportations signal a return to Egypt’s mass deportations of Eritreans in 2008and 2009, Human Rights Watch said.

“Detaining Eritreans and then beating them to force them to sign ‘voluntary’ return papers can’t mask the fact that Egypt is about to commit refoulement, the forced return of refugees to likely persecution,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch. “Instead of ripping up refugee law, ignoring UNHCR, and beating migrants and refugees, Egypt should protect them.”

Eritrea, ruled by an extremely repressive government, requires all citizens under 50 to serve in the military indefinitely. Anyone of draft age leaving the country without permission is branded a deserter, risking five years in prison, often in inhumane conditions, as well as forced labor and torture. UNHCR considers that, in practice, the punishment for desertion or evasion is so severe and disproportionate that it constitutes persecution.

Human Rights Watch spoke with multiple credible sources with regular recent access to about 160 Eritrean men and women detained for the past month in al-Shalal prison in Egypt’s southern city of Aswan.

According to the sources, the detainees said that on October 26 an Eritrean embassy official visited them and asked why they had left Eritrea. He returned on October 29 with voluntary repatriation forms and told them they would all be photographed to help prepare travel documents. The detainees all refused to sign the forms.

One of the sources who spoke with all of the detainees said the prison guards then beat 118 of them, mostly young men, to force them to sign the voluntary return papers, though the 30 or so women and seven children were not forced to sign.

Some of the detainees told one of the sources that on November 9 an Egyptian immigration officer and an Eritrean official visited the prison with additional deportation documents, including “laissez passer” papers, indicating deportation is imminent.

Ten of the men are recent deserters from Eritrea’s military. They include two senior personnel – a colonel and a person responsible for the military’s radio service – the source said. The other eight are more junior personnel, two of whom worked in food distribution services in Eritrea’s infamous Sawa military camp.

The camp is the country’s main military training center and notorious for its use of torture to punish draft evaders and people trying to escape the country, as well as for its use of forced labor.

Under Egypt’s 1954 memorandum of understanding with the UN refugee agency, the agency is supposed to carry out all refugee status determination in Egypt. This means Egyptian officials are obliged to give UNHCR access to all detained migrants to identify those who want to claim their right to seek asylum from persecution.

In practice, Egyptian authorities often deny the UN refugee agency access to detained migrants. The Egyptian authorities have not allowed UNHCR to visit the detainees, the refugee agency told Human Rights Watch.

“By blocking UNHCR from visiting asylum seekers, the Egyptian government not only tramples on their right to seek asylum but disregards its own agreements,” Simpson said. “Egypt needs to reaffirm its agreement to protect asylum seekers and let the refugee agency interview them.”

According to credible sources, over the past two months Egyptian Interior Ministry officials have given Eritrean embassy officials access to detained Eritreans, including asylum seekers registered by UNHCR in other countries, to help prepare travel documents for deportation.

Human Rights Watch said that allowing Eritrean diplomatic officials to visit detained Eritreans, including potential asylum seekers, means Egypt is violating the principle of confidentiality, essential to asylum procedures.

According to reports by Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency, in October the Egyptian authorities announced that 111 Eritreans had “voluntarily” returned to their country after they had signed Eritrean embassy paperwork. Credible sources told Human Rights Watch that Eritrean Embassy officials had visited them in prison before they were deported.

The news agency reported on October 14 that two days earlier, Egypt had deported 50 Eritreans and that, on the same day, 32 Eritreans had “illegally entered the southern border of Egypt with the intention of making their way to Sinai to illegally enter Israel.”

UNHCR said that the Egyptian authorities denied UNHCR access to some of the deportees, in line with Egypt’s policy of generally denying the refugee agency access to detained migrants. In the case of migrants intercepted in Egypt’s eastern Sinai region, UNHCR says the authorities argue that legitimate refugees should try to register with UNHCR in Cairo instead of crossing the Sinai desert.

In June 2008, Egypt summarily returned to Eritrea up to 1,200 undocumented Eritreans who had entered Egypt from Sudan. In December 2008 and January 2009, Egypt forcibly returnedmore than 45 Eritrean asylum seekers to Eritrea.

Until the reports in October, Egypt had appeared to end the deportations, except for one UNHCR-recognized Sudanese refugee, Mohammed al-Haj Abdallah, on January 25, 2010.

Under the African Refugee Convention, asylum seekers have a right to seek asylum, regardless of how they enter a country or whether they have identity documents.International law forbids countries from forcibly returning asylum seekers without first allowing them to apply for asylum and considering their cases.

Both the Convention against Torture and the African Refugee Convention forbid Egypt from sending individuals to countries where they face a serious risk of persecution or torture. Egypt is also a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which, under article 13, prohibits arbitrary expulsion and entitles foreigners to an individual decision on their removal/expulsion. The UN Human Rights Committee has interpreted article 7 of the ICCPR to forbid refoulement – or forced return – of people to places where they would be at risk of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

Human Rights Watch said that no international agencies in Eritrea, including UNHCR, have been able to monitor the treatment of deported Eritreans once they are back in Eritrea. However, Eritrean refugees in various countries have told Human Rights Watch that Eritreans forcibly returned to their country are routinely detained and mistreated in detention.

UNHCR’s official Guidelines to States on the protection needs of Eritrean asylum seekers state that “[i]ndividuals of draft age who left Eritrea illegally may be perceived as draft evaders upon return, irrespective of whether they have completed active national service or have been demobilized,” and that “[t]he punishment for desertion or evasion is so severe and disproportionate such as to amount to persecution.”
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Colleagues Home & Abroad Regional News


The first of Egypt’s three-tiered elections are scheduled to take place in late November, with the increasing likelihood that the Muslim Brotherhood may take charge. Should this happen Egypt will never be the same again, especially for Christians who are currently been persecuted.

Brotherhood symbol: A brown square frames a green circle with a white perimeter. Two swords cross inside the circle beneath a red Koran. The cover of the Koran says: “Truly, it is the Generous Koran.” The Arabic beneath the sword handles translates as “Be prepared.” The swords reinforce the group’s militancy and, as traditional weapons, symbolize historic Islam. They also reinforce the group’s commitment to jihad. The Koran denotes the group’s spiritual foundation. The motto, “Be prepared,” is a reference to a Koranic verse that talks of preparing to fight the enemies of God.

Even though under Hosni Mubarak, there was a measure of protection for Christians because of the respect that they’ve earned in the country, the fact that the Muslim group may be coming into power at a time when they are trying to enforce Shari’ah law, the future, not only of Christians but non Muslims are threatened.

Unlike Muslims, Christians use peaceful mass action-this is because they believe “Jesus taught them to be tolerant,” that is why he humbly accepted to die on the cross for the purpose to save humanity from bondage of sin.

Already the power vacuum left after the overthrow of Mubarak is giving Muslim extremists free rein to torch churches and attack Coptic homes in the worst violence against the community in decades. At least 26 people were killed in Cairo capital, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011. Copts make up about 10 percent of the country’s 85 million people.

Their history dates back 19 centuries and the language used in their liturgy can be traced to the speech of Egypt’s pharaohs. Proud of their history and faith, many Copts are identifiable by tattoos of crosses or Jesus Christ on their right wrists, and Coptic women do not wear the veil as the vast majority of Muslim women in Egypt do.

However, the fact that Muslim Brotherhood point out that Shari’ah which has been the constitutional basis of legislation since 1982, that Islam is the state religion and that all the Brotherhood wants is a stricter adherence to it, there is danger that all women in Egypt will be forced to wear veils.

The Brotherhood is seeking to rebuild Egypt’s government on Islamic lines should they ascend to power. Egypt has over 9000 mosques and just over 500 churches.

Founded by Hasan al-Banna in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood has had the longest continuous existence of any contemporary Islamist group. It was initially established not as a political party but as a da’wa (religious outreach) association that aimed to cultivate pious and committed Muslims through preaching, social services, and spreading religious commitment and integrity by example.

The group saw its understanding of Islam as the only “true” one and condemned partisanship as a source of national weakness. It called on Egyptians to unite to confront the forces of Zionism and imperialism and pursue economic development and social justice. The movement is one of Egypt’s most popular and organized groups, with a broad grassroots network built up partly through social work even in Mubarak’s era.

Under Mubarak the Brotherhood was banned and its members often detained. Mubarak often presented himself as the bulwark preventing Egypt’s slide into Islamist hands. It explains one of the reasons why the group had to overthrow him. The Brotherhood and its party have taken an increasingly prominent role since.

While fresh elections for the lower house are due to start in November, a vote for the upper house is to take place early next year. The Brotherhood is expected to perform well in the vote, although many analysts expect a fairly fragmented parliament with no single unified voice emerging.

According to the Brotherhood’s credo “God is their objective; the Quran is their constitution, the Prophet is their leader; Jihad is their way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of their aspirations.

English language website describes the “principles of the Muslim Brotherhood” as including firstly the introduction of the Islamic Shari’ah as “the basis controlling the affairs of state and society;” and secondly work to unify “Islamic countries and states, mainly among the Arab states, and liberating them from foreign imperialism.

On the issue of women and gender the Muslim Brotherhood interprets Islam conservatively. Its founder called for “a campaign against ostentation in dress and loose behavior”, “segregation of male and female students”, a separate curriculum for girls, and “the prohibition of dancing and other such pastimes.

Yet the Brotherhood remains the largest opposition group in Egypt, advocating Islamic reform, democratic system and maintaining a vast network of support through Islamic charities working among poor Egyptians.

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Tanzania: Nation headed for big trouble with Egypt for its diversion of Lake Victoria waters

Reports Leo Odera Omolo.

Information emerging out of the Tanzanian capital city, Dar Es Salaam says that country is headed for another diplomatic row with the two northern African states of Egypt and the Sudan over the decision to draw water for domestic use from Lake Victoria.

This will be the second project using Lake Victoria water, which will be drawn for domestic use in Tabora Region, 278 kilometers south of the lake.

Designs for the project are to be drawn up this coming July with the implementation slated fir January 2013 and completion in December 2014.

The first project, in 2004, was implemented in two phases under which Lake Victoria water was pumped overland to benefit residents of Kahama and Shinyanga towns, about 176 kilometers to the south of the lake.

The USD 85.1 million project will serve a population of 420,000.It is reportedly raising concern in Egypt and Sudan, the main interested parties in the River Nile, of which Lake Victoria is a major source.

The influential EASTAFRICAN weekly, this week quoted the press attaché in the Egyptian embassy in Dar Es Salaam, Mr Ahmed Abdul Fatah, as saying the Egyptians have not been informed about the current project.

The two Nile Basin treaties signed during the British Colonial era in 1929 and in 1959 between Britain and the Egyptian governments restricted the carrying out of any project on the Nile River tributaries or their lakes that would adversely affect its water level without Cairo’s consent

And in order to make sure that the agreement is applied to the letter, Egypt has posted a team of military water engineers who are permanently station in Jinja Town, which is the source o the River Nile, a Ugandan City, Uganda’s second largest city, which is located about 90 kilometer to the east of the capital, Kampala.

The same Egyptian government has posted its water experts attached to its embassies in Nairobi, Kampala and Dar Es Salaam whose main responsibilities including the monitoring of Nile River water level on daily basis.

However, the Draft Agreement over the Nile River Basin Co-operative Framework, Section 15, all the countries except Egypt and the Sudan, take the position that the treaties in question are illegal, arguing that they were negotiated and signed before independence for Tanganyika, Kenya Uganda and the other riparian states.

The Framework involves nine countries among them are five member states of the East African Community {EAC} and Egypt, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia which are not ember of the EAC.

The Deputy Director of the Urban Water Ministry in Tanzania Elizabeth Kungu was quoted by the media this week as saying that the project would cost Tshs. 255 billion, which is equivalent to USD 176 million.

She noted that the project would be partly funded by the Tanzania government and its development partners including the World Bank under the water sector development program.

Asked about Egypt and Sudan concerns, she said that based on o the previous experience ”The quantity of water drawn or to be drawn for both Shinyanga and Tabora towns is very little compared with the size of the lake.”

Lake Victoria, the second largest sweet water in the world covered 68,000 square kilometers bordering Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Its maximum depth is 80 meters.

A[art from Tabora town, the regional headquarters, the planned project will also benefit Nzega,Igunga Kigongwa,Isaka and Muhesa towns as well as the residents of 76 villages situated along the pipeline.

Tanzania Vice President Mohammed Gharib Bilal described the project as a solution to the persistent water problems in area covered by the project.

In 1910, the Germany had contemplated using Lake Victoria waters for irrigation, transport and production of electricity in the dry parts of Mwanza,Shinyanga,Tabora and Singida regions.

Official document at the Ministry of Water reveals that the ideas of taking water from the Lake Victoria and supplying to the dry Central area of the country, dates back to the German’s colonial era in Tanganyika.

However, when the British took the control of the then Tanganika Territory from the Germans following the defeat of its forces in the East African military campaign during the First World ,the emphasis on using the Lake Victoria water into the dry Central zone of Dodoma and Singida which are naturally dry. Instead the use of Lake Victoria water has ever since been limited to the use in areas around the lake.

There have been persistent calls by Tanzania, experts for the government to extend for the use of Lake Victoria waters to end water shortage and create an environment for irrigated agriculture and economic development.


Egyptians are more effective than Kenyans


I think the truth will save us, and doing things the right way will help Kenya to improve her people`s life style and will bring development.
If we learn to do things which are important in the right way our country will move forward, but laying and cheating to satisfy a few people will spoil this country much deeper.

I am surprised to hear now what is happening in Egypt: EGYPT`S RULING MILITARY COUNCIL ANNOUNCED THAT WORK ON REFORMING THE COUNTRY`S CONSTITUTION IS TO BE COMPLETED IN 10 DAYS. Good people; how can what took Kenya 20 years take Egyptians only 10 days?. What are our brains made of in Kenya?. Are we Kenyans that stupid or having very low IQ compared to the pharaoh`s people or what?.
Kenyans have behaved so stupidly on the new constitution and now we are almost stuck on implementing it. Does this explain why we Kenyans can not develop to catch up with the Asian countries or what?.

I think Kenyan development deserves the attention of sophisticated youths and middle class plus highly well off part of society who have the resources to invest in the country. Those who have stolen Kenyan tax-payers money or assets and thrown abroad should not have any part in Kenyan leadership if we want to move forward. The can lead only if they bring those money back to Kenya and invest.

We Kenyans have no short cut to better development and understanding how to survive in our God given land. We need a new cultural thinking and behavior in building blocks of our Kenyan technology or development. Unless we change our thinking way and capacity we shall remain behind other nations fore ever.

Paul Nyandoto

Switzerland & Egypt: Switzerland confiscates Mubarak`s Assets

From: Paul Nyandoto


Dictatorship in Africa has been a thorn for a long time. African leaders are sinking this glorious continent. They exploit it when they are in power, send almost all money they can lay their hands on outside Africa to build other countries and now when they are kicked out they do not consume that money. So what is the point of stealing from your people to enrich Europe?.

We hope this time Switzerland will take a bold step and return back Egyptian`s money Mubarak stole and banked in their country. This should be a lesson also to Kenyan thieves, they might not use those money they are banking outside Kenya. So please bring that money back to develop Kenya. Africans are left behind in development, people are dying from hunger and poverty while their money is resting in European banks. The same money Europe give Africans back in terms of loans. What a mess has Africans got into?. Do poor Africans deserve all these?.

Paul Nyandoto

– – – – – – – – – – –

From: sospeter gichane


Whats the difference btn Switzerland and Mubarak? They have kept his money all though just to freeze it when he is cornered. That’s hypocrisy directly made in EU. Why did they not refuse to keep his monies in the first place? And then they freeze it so that even Egyptians cant access it until…………………………

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Bureeeeeeeeee Kabisaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

Nile Basin Countries: Egypt has issued a stern warning to Nile’ upstream countries over the Entebbe deal

News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City.

The last week signing of the new River Nile water agreement by four upstream states, which attended a meeting at Entebbe in Uganda has provoked sharp tongue lashing by Egypt which has threatened to take legal action and any other option it deemed necessary.

The four upstream countries represented at the Entebbe meeting were Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. The Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi were not represented. Kenya another important member of the Nile basin Initiative was represented by a junior officer, but it has since signed the document.

Kenya’s Water and Irrigation Minister Madam Charity Kaluki Ngilu signed the document in her Nairobi office early this week bringing the number to five countries out of the nine, which include Egypt and Sudan.

The new treaty is over the equitable sharing of the Nile water. It has since elicited strong opposition from Egypt and Sudan. The upstream countries must now be prepared for any consequences as Egypt has vowed not to lay low about.

The signing of the treaty in exclusion of the two North African countries has sparked a bitter row prompting Cairo’s harsh reaction. Egypt has threatened to mobilize international support or “other means”, the possibility of a conventional warfare cannot be ruled out, judging from the tone of Cairo’s rejoinder.

It could be remember that at time Egypt had threatened both Sudan and Ethiopia, saying it was ready to go war with any upstream states whose action is viewed as threatening her only source of life. And to protect its historical rights over the River Nile water, dating back to a century.

“This agreement benefits all of us” remarked Ethiopian Minister for Water Resources Asfaw Dingoma in Entebbe immediately after signing the new treaty.

The latest conflict of interest and disagreement come at the time Egypt is expected to support Ethiopia’s bid, especially after the two countries signing of a memorandum of understanding late last year, to establish a joint Ethiopian-Egyptian Council Trade and Commerce with the aim of strengthening economic ties between the two countries.

The upstream states want to be able to implement irrigation and hydro power projects in consultation with Egypt and Sudan, but with Egypt being disarmed and left without right to exercise its veto power.which Cairo was given by the 1929 colonial era treaty it signed with Great Britain.

The latest agreement signed by the five countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, the Nile Basin Co-operation Framework, is to replace a 1959 accord between Egypt and Sudan and British colonial power that gives the two North African countries control of more than 90 per cent of the Nile water flow.

The two countries have expressed fear that the water supply might dwindle and would be severely reduced, f the seven other Nile users diver the river for irrigation and hydro power projects.

The Nile Basin Initiative, which had been spearheading the talks will from now on ward be transformed to be known as Nile Basin Commission and will receive ,review and approve or reject projects related to Africa’s longest river.

The new Commission will have its secretariat based in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa and will have representation from all the nine Nile Basin countries.

Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Abul Abeit was early this week quoted by news agencies as having issued a stern warning to the upstream states that his country water rights were not.

‘Any unilateral agreement signed by the upstream Nile Basin Countries is null and void, therefore is not binding on downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, and lacks legitimacy,” said the Minister.

The Egyptian Minister described Ethiopia’s inauguration of 460MW Tana Beles hydro electric dam on the Nile, done at the same day the new agreement was being signed in Entebbe has provoked Egypt into taking action that would turn global opinion of the Nile water among the 9 Nile Basin states.

Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, on the other hand, said the Dam’s recent inauguration marks his country’s success in using Nile water after decades of biased laws.

Ethiopia industry, manufacturing sector has suffered persistent power shortage, whose demand has increased by 25 per cent every year.

Currently, Ethiopia’s power generation capacity is about 2,000MW and the government targets to generate capacity 5,000in the coming five ears and export energy to neighboring Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti.

Tana Beles is an ultra-modern hydro power dam complex is located underground and was constructed at a cost of 550 Birr {USD 369.2 million}

Earlier effort to build the Dam were frustrated by the refusal of the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank among other creditors to fund the project a situation suspected to have been engineered clandestinely bye Egypt and Sudan.

Ethiopia has built it without foreign support. However, China is reportedly pumping million of dollars into the dam scheme.

Ethiopia is to generate 45 per cent of its energy from the Nile Basin, a plan that does not sit well with Cairo.

Ethiopia has also built multiple hydro dam along the Gibe 3 the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa despite growing protest from environmental groups over its impact on a half a million people in Northern Kenya, as fear mount that it would cause Lake Turkana in the region to dry up.


UN body warns Africa of the impending conflicts over the scarce water resources


Environmental Features By Leo Odera Omolo.

A UN body has predicted that the main conflicts in Africa during the next 25 years will be over the scarcity of water, as countries are likely to wage war against each other for access to the scarce resources.

The United Nations Development Programe {UNDP} says in a study just released at the turn of the century that water wars are likely in areas where rivers and lakes are shared by more than one country.

The inter-play of climate change, indiscriminate destruction of forests, poor agriculture techniques, and runaway population growth has worked against the continent’s once abundant water resources.

Africa has 63 international river basins that collectively cover 64 per cent of its surface area. They contain over 90 per cent of its surface water resources.

Most of these rivers are shared by two to four countries. Some are shared by many more, like the Congo river{1} and the Niger river {10}, Lake Chad and Zambezi River {8}. There are also many smaller shared basins.

The problem is complicated by the fact that trans -boundary river system are endoergic, they do not terminate in the Ocean. Rather, they flow into low-lying inland areas. Endoergic system in drier environment are considered the socio-economic lifeline of communities living in low lying areas.

The United Nations Environmental Program {UNEP} cites the saline or alkaline basins of Lake Chad, Lake Natron, and Lake Turkana ,and the fresh water Okavango-Makgadikadi and Cuvelai basins, as water systems in danger of failing.

At the same time Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya will soon be the scene of a major conflict in the near future, environmentalists, have warned.

Ten years ago, the then Egyptian Foreign Ministe,r Boutros Boutros-Ghali had predicted that the next major world war in Africa would be over the scrambles for water.

Now water diplomacy is starting to take center-stage in African, and globally. Experts are tracing fights over water rights and shortage as the root cause of many civil conflicts on the continent over the past three decades.

The influential weekly, the EASTAFRICAN reported in its latest edition that “As Kenya and Ethiopia enter series of deals on electricity generation and supply, the livelihood of close to 200,000 people is threatened. These people have for centuries depended on a lake that is fed by rivers threatened by a giant hydroelectric power project in Ethiopia.

The Gilgel Gibe 111 hydroelectric dam, which at a cost of USD 1,7 billion, will be one of the largest in Africa, is already causing concern among environmentalists and the local communities living around the Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya.

Opponents of the project says it will destroy the livelihood of thousands of people, especially the nomadic Turkana and Rendile communities, as well as the smallest tribe in Kenya, the El-Molo, that depend entirely on the fish of Lake Turkana.

Situated on the Omo River Valley, the dam is expected to have a mammoth reservoir that will hold thousands of cubic meters of water. The environmentalists and locals believed this will interfere with the livelihood of these tribes.

The other flashpoints across Africa that the UNEP and UNDP have cited include the Nile, Niger, Volta and Zambezi basins.
The UNDP report says population growth and economic development will lead to nearly one in two people in Africa living in countries facing water scarcity, and water stress in 25 years. Water scarcity is defined as less than 1,000 cubic meters of water available per person per year, while water stress means less than 1,500cubic meters per year.

According to UNDP, by the year 2025, 12 more African countries will join the 13 that already suffer from water stress or water scarcity.

“Water disputes in Africa revolve around one or more of three issues; quantity, quality and timing. These play out differently on various scales, whether international, intra-nationality, regionally or indirectly, “says the UNDP funded study report titled “Hydro political Vulnerability and Reliance Along International water in Africa.”

The Nile Basin, which encompasses nine countries –including Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, has been mentioned area potential source of conflict because of the high number of people who depend on it.

For example, if the combined population of just three countries –Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan- through which the Nile runs, rises as predicted from 150 million people today to 340 million in 2050, there will be intense pressure, which could easily spill over into war. This is according to the EASTAFRICAN weekly. Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea are among the Nile Basin states that are most vulnerable to climate variation.

The amount of water left when the Nile water has also been drastically declining is also proof that the up take along its course is rising. In case water levels reduces drastically Egypt, being at the lower end of the Nile River will be most affected.