Libya repatriates bodies of Egyptian Copts killed by Daesh

Libya repatriates bodies of Egyptian Copts killed by Daesh
Libyan Red Crescent workers carry coffins, containing the remains of Egyptian Copts killed by Daesh in Sirte, which were transferred to Egypt after forensic tests were completed in Misrata. (Reuters)
Updated 14 May 2018

Libya repatriates bodies of Egyptian Copts killed by Daesh

Libya repatriates bodies of Egyptian Copts killed by Daesh
  • The remains of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians executed by Daesh in 2015, near the city of Sirte, were repatriated.
  • After the executions, tens of thousands of Egyptians working in Libya’s construction, service, agriculture and handicraft sectors fled the country.

MISRATA: Libya on Monday repatriated the remains of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians executed by Daesh in 2015 near the city of Sirte, their former bastion in the country.
The coffins were loaded at Misrata airport onto a Libyan Afriqiyah Airways cargo plane bound for Cairo.
The bodies of the 20 Egyptian men and another man whom a medical examiner believes to be from sub-Saharan Africa were found in October near Sirte.
The doctor, Othman Al-Zentani, said identifying the bodies was “not an easy task,” as they had decomposed and the heads had been separated from the torsos.
DNA samples sent by families of the victims were vital to the identification process, Al-Zentani said.
On February 15, 2015, Daesh broadcast a video showing the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians abducted in January that year in western Libya.
After the executions, tens of thousands of Egyptians working in Libya’s construction, service, agriculture and handicraft sectors fled the country.
Libya has been gripped by chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, with rival administrations and multiple militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.
A UN-backed unity government based in the capital Tripoli has struggled to assert its authority outside the west, and military strongman Khalifa Haftar controls much of the east.
Daesh remains active in central and southern Libya despite being forced out of their northern bastion Sirte, Qaddafi’s hometown, in December 2016.


Egypt: Ethiopia has delayed reaching agreement on the GERD

Egypt: Ethiopia has delayed reaching agreement on the GERD
Updated 25 January 2021

Egypt: Ethiopia has delayed reaching agreement on the GERD

Egypt: Ethiopia has delayed reaching agreement on the GERD
  • Egyptian irrigation and water resources minister criticizes Ethiopian stubbornness in Renaissance Dam negotiations
  • Ethiopia has announced the completion of 76.3 percent of the dam, stressing that it is aiming for development without harming the downstream countries

CAIRO: The Egyptian Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Ati has accused Ethiopia of being responsible for the paused negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the failure to reach an agreement.

The minister told the Egyptian parliament that “there is stubbornness on the Ethiopian side in the Renaissance Dam negotiations issue. It retreats from the terms that were agreed upon.”

He said that the GERD delay is a problem for the Egyptian state, noting that the Ministry of Irrigation works on the technical side of the dam, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handles political and legal aspects.

Abdel-Ati said that the US mediating side initially assisted in a draft agreement, which Egypt signed, but Ethiopia rejected the draft.

“Four meetings were held under the auspices of the African Union and five six-way meetings, in the presence of the ministers of irrigation and foreign affairs, and no agreement was reached,” he added.

Abdel-Ati noted that Egypt had responded to the initiative of the Sudanese prime minister, and many tripartite meetings were held, but they did not result in any progress.

The Sudanese Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Yasser Abbas confirmed that there is a direct threat from the GERD to the Rossiris Dam, whose storage capacity is less than 10 percent of the Renaissance Dam’s capacity.

Abbas’ statements came during Khartoum meetings organized by the Ministry for Foreign Ambassadors to explain Sudan’s position on the Renaissance Dam.

Abbas stressed that this vicious cycle of talks cannot be continued indefinitely.

Less than six months remain before Ethiopia begins implementing its plan to start the second filling of the GERD next July, even without an agreement or daily exchange of data with Sudan.

Abbas said: “And because war is not an option, the Sudanese side started from an early stage a diplomatic move to put the international community before its responsibility from the Ethiopian threat and its threat to the lives of half of Sudan’s population on the Blue Nile.”

The minister sent a special message to Ethiopia that Sudan would not allow the filling and operating of the dam without a binding legal agreement that would secure the safety of its facilities and the lives of the Sudanese.

In recent years, Egypt and Sudan — the two downstream countries — fought negotiations with Ethiopia, the upstream country, to agree on the GERD that Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile, with Cairo and Khartoum fearing its negative effects.

The negotiations have stalled on several occasions, with the most-recent meeting at the end of last year. It remains unclear how to resolve the GERD issue, which presents the three countries with a national security issue.

Recently, Ethiopia announced the completion of 76.3 percent of the dam, stressing that it is aiming for development without harming the downstream countries.