Lieutenant General Kamel Al-Wazir, Minister of Transport, said that some of the causes of accidents that the railway sector is exposed to are a result of extremist elements inside the sector. They do not want Egypt to enjoy security, safety, or peace, he said. The minister’s words came during the plenary session of the House of Representatives. Observers believe that the Lieutenant General resorted to the repeated argument that the Al-Sisi regime uses to justify any failure or disaster. It is the claim of the existence of extremists within the sectors and institutions of the state.
Deputy Wahid Qarqar, the undersecretary of the Transport Committee in the House of Representatives, said that the Parliament’s Transport Committee is jointly responsible with the Ministry of Transport for how to reform the railways. Qarqar pointed out that dismissal is not the solution in the face of accidents on the railway, after heavy demands over the past few days for the dismissal of the Minister of Transport. The transport commission deputy called on the transport police to play its role in dealing with the issue. He indicated that there are human interventions in the incidents that occurred and claimed that street vendors caused the Sohag train crash.
In conjunction with the minister’s speech, Member of Parliament Mustafa Bakri, on the instructions of the Minister of Transport, distributed lists prepared by the National Security Agency with the names of workers in the railway authority accused of belonging to the Brotherhood. The lists included the names of those whom the Ministry of Interior classified as inflammatory. The list was distributed to members of parliament, claiming their involvement in the recent train accidents, contrary to the truth.
The Minister of Transport called on the House of Representatives to amend the Civil Service Law to allow the separation of elements associated with extremist activities. “We call upon the trade union leaderships in Egypt to educate workers not to comply with the elements that incite production disruption. We encounter people every day that try to provoke and disrupt work,” the minister said.
Al-Wazir claimed that there are boys, driven by people who do not want the security and safety of Egypt, who throw bricks on trains, and ultimately they are released from the prosecution soon after they are arrested. The minister claimed that some photograph train accidents with mobile phones after loosening the screws of the railway strips, and they are also released, he said.
Egyptian activists said that the citizens who photographed the train disasters caused a great embarrassment to the minister. Now he is trying to incite against them and intimidate citizens to put them off documenting train accidents. Hanafi Jabali, Speaker of Parliament, referred Al-Wazir’s statement to the Transport and Communications Committee of the House of Representatives to discuss and prepare a report on it to be presented to the council.