Egypt Watch

People of displaced villages in Sinai are demanding to return to their homes

Hundreds of Egyptian Sinai residents organized a protest to demand returning to their homes in the villages controlled by the ISIS-affiliated Sinai Wilayet (province) militants.

The demonstrators raised Egyptian flags and reached the outskirts of the villages from which they were forcibly displaced two months ago after the Sinai Province organization took control of them. The demonstrators chanted in front of the Egyptian army’s military vehicles, preventing them from entering their villages and homes, of the necessity of immediate return. These demonstrations are the first of their kind in the Sinai, despite the Egyptian army’s displacement of dozens of villages over the past years in Rafah, Sheikh Zuweid, and Al-Arish. The demonstrators called on Egyptian General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to urgently intervene to open the way for the displaced to return to their homes.

The Sinai Province organization took control of 5 villages (Rab’a, Al-Janayen, Iqtiyah, Qatiya, and Al-Mrih) at the end of the last July violent armed attack on the Egyptian army’s Rab’a camp. Over the past two months, the army tried to control the villages by mobilizing huge military forces until it was able to regain large parts of them, but at the same time, it refused the return of the displaced to their homes.

The people are afraid of a repeat of the Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid scenarios in Bir al-Abed, by displacing the residents and refusing to return to their homes and compensate them.