By Nasser al-Azazi
An Egyptian human rights group on Monday launched a new campaign geared towards uniting political forces and tackling militancy in North Sinai.
The Egyptian Organization for Crisis Management and Human Rights in North Sinai founded the campaign, titled Youth Against Terrorism,in response to the series of recent attacks launched against the police, the army and civilians throughout the region.
Youth Against Terrorism Co-Founder Shada Saad said the group would work with all parties including tribal sheikhs, the youth,the armed forces and the police to rid the Sinai Peninsula of all “terrorist” elements.
The group released a statement condemning all terrorist activities, particularly Monday’s attack on a bus transporting cement factory workers to a facility in Central Sinai. The violence resulted in the death of three people with another 16 injured. The organisation described the attack as a “humanitarian catastrophe”.
The human rights organisation called for labour unions in the North Sinai to intervene on behalf of the workers who died and were injured, urging them to support the workers’rights. The statement also demanded the owner of the cement factory compensate the families of those killed and injured, adding that the owner should do more to protect the lives and security of other factory workers.
The group further emphasised its commitment to protecting human rights, which they claim have been repeatedly violated throughout the North Sinai at the hands of unknown, armed assailants. The group says the tactics used by the assailants violate the core principles of religious and humanitarian norms.
The campaign was created quickly after a spate of attacks swept through northern Sinaion Monday resulting in the death and injury of civilians. In addition to the attack on cement factory workers, another deadly attack occurred at the police headquarters in the Al-Qasima region of Central Sinai, which resulted in the death of one officer and the injury of another.Two security checkpoints were also fired upon in Sheikh Zuweidon Monday although no casualties were reported.