Egypt Independent: News-Main news en New decree tightens army's grip on border city with Libya <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><div>The Egyptian Cabinet issued an appendix to an earlier decree on Wednesday, with regards to&nbsp;the country&rsquo;s political borders and tightening military control on the border with Libya.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The addition to the November 2014 decree requires residents who moved to the western border city of Salloum after 1967&nbsp;to obtain a written military clearance. It maintains that the Armed Forces has the sole authority to guard the country&rsquo;s political borders.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The decision exempts residents who have inhabited the area before 5 July 1967, granting them permanent residency in Salloum with the exception of al-Hadaba (Plateau), the area of the city which is closest to the border. These residents will merely need to have their IDs checked.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egypt is apparently seeking to strengthen its control over its western borders as it had voiced fears of an increasing terrorist threat from that direction, with Islamist factions growing in influence in Libya since the ouster of former leader Muammar al-Qadhafi.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The beheading of 21 Egyptians by the Islamic State in Libya has further stoked Egypt&#39;s fears which led it to embark on airstrikes on the group&rsquo;s locations in Libya. Egypt has also sought an international alliance against extremist militants operating in Libya.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The original November 2014 decree stipulated the creation of a 1000-meter buffer zone on the borders with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, particularly at the city of Rafah, following bloody attacks against Egyptian police and army forces in the eastern Sinai Peninsula.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Speaking to <em>Egypt Independent</em>, Ahmed Sebaq, a Marsa Matrouh-based reporter, suggested that the new decree, which expands the November 2014 decision to include Egypt&#39;s western borders, could turn Salloum, a long-neglected yet commercially vital city, into a military barracks.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Sebaq noted that 90 percent of the city&rsquo;s lands are already military-held property. News reports last month pointed to tensions between the city&rsquo;s residents and military authorities after the army razed several civilian properties constructed on lands claimed by the Armed Forces.The problem prompted many civilians to protest the demolitions before&nbsp;the crisis was resolved and and agreement was made to halt the removal of the buildings.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The city&#39;s 16,000 residents have long decried poor basic services and state neglect despite its healthy cross-border trade with Libya.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to the Planning and International Cooperation Ministry, poverty rates in Salloum stand at &nbsp;44.9 percent, the second largest poverty rate in the Matrouh governorate, where poverty afflicts 23 percent of that province&#39;s population.</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:37:00 +0000 Egypt Independent 2445111 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/18/16030/saloum.png Petroleum Ministry cannot meet people's need for gas cylinders <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The Petroleum Ministry does not currently have a strategic stock of gas cylinders to meet the needs of the people, said Petroleum Ministry spokesperson Hamdy Abdel Aziz.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Abdel Aziz told the Al-Hayat Al-Youm program in a phone-in interview on Wednesday evening that the recent wave of bad weather in Egypt resulted in port closures. This in turn led to the suspension of gas shipments, which prompted the ministry to use their strategic reserve of cylinders.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The crisis in butane gas cylinders has been a repeated occurrence in different governorates around the country for years, forcing citizens to queue in long lines for hours in front of warehouses and causing violent outbreaks among the people.</div> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:43:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2445081 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/26/16030/b.jpg Warm weather expected Friday <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The Egyptian Meteorological Authority experts expected a temporary rise in temperature nationwide on Friday, warm weather on the North Coast, slightly hot weather in Lower Egypt, Cairo and north Upper Egypt, and very hot weather on south Upper Egypt in daylight and very cold at night.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Temperatures in Cairo on Friday will range from a high of 29C, to 12C at night.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mist in the morning on the north coast, Lower Egypt, Cairo, and the Suez Canal cities will affect visibility, the authority mentioned in a statement Thursday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Low- and middle-level clouds are expected in north of the country. Winds will be mostly moderate and will be active westward, accompanied by dust which would also affect visibility.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Waves in the Mediterranean Sea will be between 2 to 3 meters and surface wind will be southwesterly. The Red Sea will be moderate as wave will be between 1 to 2 meters and surface winds will be southeasterly.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from MENA</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:39:00 +0000 MENA 2445118 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/26/16030/o.jpg Renaissance Dam to start storing water in July <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><div>According to official Sudanese sources, the Italian Salini company building the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has completed 45 percent of the construction work, which allows for storing water in front of the dam in July, the beginning of the rainy season.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The sources explained that the first phase of the storage will reduce the water shares of Egypt and Sudan by&nbsp;14 billion cubic meters over the next water year, which the two countries will bear equally according to the 1959 Convention.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to the sources, the reduction is likely to affect Sudanese crops that rely on flooding in the Nile islands, as well as the electricity generated by the Roseires, Jabal al-Awliya and Sonar dams.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The sources pointed out that this year&rsquo;s budget includes an electricity interconnection project between Khartoum and Addis Ababa, which confirms full coordination between the two countries despite ongoing negotiations about the dam.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>They said Ethiopia is racing against time to finish building the first phase of the dam before the flood season obstructs the construction work, adding that this phase operates two turbines that have already been installed to produce 700 megawatts of electricity.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>However, official sources at the Egyptian Irrigation&nbsp;Ministry said the turbines have not been installed yet, as the dam has not reached the minimum storage level, which means that storage would start sometime in 2016.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In a related development, Southern Sudan celebrated on Wednesday the receipt of Egyptian studies, aimed at building the first multi-purpose dam in the Western Bahr al-Ghazal state. South Sudanese officials have praised President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for meeting his promise in this regard.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:28:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2445102 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/04/06/484151/renaissance_dam.jpg