The Egyptian Foreign Ministry warned local fishermen against entering regional waters illegally, without prior permission to access, official spokesperson Badr Abdelatty said Saturday.
This comes as over 100 fishermen from the village of Matariya in the governorate of Daqahleya have been under detention and interrogation by authorities in Sudan since April.
While the Sudanese government claims the fishermen breached protocols by illegally entering their waters, the fishermen’s spokesperson in Egypt accused Sudan of “attacking the fishermen by firing at their boats, to drag them into their waters then arrest them, while they were on their way to Eritrea”.
The foreign ministry said it was closely following up on the fishermen’s ongoing trial, but some have already received jail sentences and penalty fines. Minors and seniors were allowed to return home.
Taha El-Sheridy, leader of the independent Matariya Fishermen’s Association in Daqahleya, expected the foreign ministry to blame the fishermen in previous statements to Daily News Egypt. “They are not going to put diplomatic ties at risk,” he said.
The circumstances of fishermen in Egypt have been difficult due to lack of resources and government neglect of their situation. They continue to face risks of detention and kidnapping while traveling to find their catch.