The House of Representatives called on the government to reduce the hours of the curfew imposed in North Sinai governorate and to provide residents with the necessary basics, such as food, shelter, and health care, according to a release from the parliament’s media office.
These recommendations came in the parliament’s Sunday morning session following a General Assembly of MPs. The assembly also decided that several hospitals with emergency facilities, ambulances, and more doctors must be established in North Sinai.
The assembly discussed the long-standing Emergency Law that has been imposed on the governorate since October 2014 and was recently extended, on top of previous extensions, for another three months by presidential decree.
“We, as MPs representing North Sinai governorate, received an invitation from the speaker of the house to attend a meeting and discuss the extension of the state of emergency inside in the governorate. The meeting was fruitful and it resulted in several recommendations for the government,” North Sinai MP Hossam Tawfik told Daily News Egypt on Sunday.
While, the state of emergency is a viable means of ensuring security and combating terrorism, residents are suffering from violations carried out under the guise of the emergency law, Tawfik said.
“Residents are subjected to random detentions that may last for long periods without addressing any clear offenses,” the MP said. “The curfew is not helping to minimise the threat of militants as much as people might think, on the contrary, these criminals feel free to wander anywhere.”
The closure of many main roads is a measure that has hindered development strategy in the governorate as it badly affects the daily life of residents. On behalf of North Sinai residents, Tawfik asked the Speaker of the House Ali Abdul Aal for a general reconsideration about how this state of emergency is being applied.
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail delivered a speech before the House of Representatives explaining that providing security for citizens and for development projects is the reason behind the most recent extension of the state of emergency in North Sinai.
“Of course, the state of emergency will not fully defeat terrorism, but it will thwart much of its operations and allows security agencies to carry out procedures that help them to counter its [terrorism] elements,” said Ismail, addressing parliament.
Due to the continuation of terrorist operations in North Sinai, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a decree at the beginning of May by which the Emergency Law was renewed inside the peninsula for an additional three months, from 29 April until 28 July.
The renewed state of emergency is connected to “dangerous security circumstances” facing North Sinai. It will be applied across the area from east of Rafah Hill until Al-Awga, west of Al-Arish city, including Al-Halal mountain and Rafah.