The Egyptian Armed Forces said recently that great and unprecedented efforts have been exerted to combat terrorism and to restore the normal life in Sinai during the past years, after a period of the active presence of militant groups that posed a threat to Egypt’s national security.
The spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Colonel Gharib Abdel Hafez explained in a phone interview on the privately-run TV channel Ten that Egypt’s army efforts to combat terrorism and the sacrifices made to restore life to normal in Sinai during the past years are not hidden from anyone.
“Confronting terrorism is not only a security act, therefore the Egyptian Armed Forces paid attention to move towards development and changing the living life of the citizen in parallel with qualitative operations against terrorist elements,” Gharib said.
A recently issued UN report highlighted the Egyptian state’s strategy in combating terrorism through 3 main pillars, security, social, and development. Through the aforementioned pillars the Egyptian Armed Forces is continuing with all state institutions to develop and provide a decent life for Sinai’s citizen, according to Colonel Gharib.
The military spokesperson added that Egypt still fights the battle of awareness against the deliberate twisting of facts, the tarnishing of the image of successes, and extremist thought.
In that context, Gharib clarified that security agencies psychologically and intellectually rehabilitate Takfiri elements, who surrender, after ensuring there are no charges against them.
The colonel underlined that the Egyptian Armed Forces continues to assist other state institutions with developmental works.
Highlighting the role of the Border Guard Force, the spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces said that the branch, in collaboration with others, played a pivotal role in cutting supplies to terrorists, securing the strategic borders of the country that extend 5,900 kilometres.
Gharib added that the Border Guard Force keeps aborting plans aimed at putting the Egyptian national security in peril, and that is by thwarting attempts of smuggling arms, ammunition, and drugs among others.
That is why General Commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces Mohamed Zaki, who is also Minister of Defense and Military Production, held a ceremony to exclusively honour the Border Guard Force, the spokesperson pointed out.
Concerning the Egyptian Armed Forces’ contributions to development in Sinai, Gharibstated that the number of completed projects is 306, while that of under-progress ones is 137. The total cost of the 443 assigned projects is LE401 billion.
Those projects include five tunnels, passing beneath the Suez Canal, and connecting Sinai with the governorates of Ismailia, Suez, and Port Said.
That is in addition to roads stretching a total of 2,500 kilometres; three residential cities that are New Rafah, New Ismailia, and Salam Misr opposite Port Said. These projects include social housing units; 4,100 Bedouin houses; 14 central hospitals, 16 healthcare units equipped with the most modern devices; 30 water treatment and desalination plants, including Sarabium Siphon; and, the reclamation of half a million feddans (one feddan equals 4,500 square meters).
In a similar context, the spokesperson stated that the Egyptian Armed Forces is executing 5,200 projects in the sectors of roads, electricity, and wastewater in 184 villages lying in 10 governorates within the Decent Life initiative.
Gharib concluded by stressing the salience of security and stability in maintaining the journey of development and backing counterterrorism efforts. He also greeted the Egyptian people on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Sinai Liberation marking April 25, and the Eastern Easter also marks the same day this year.