Egypt reopens five ports after weather improves

Ayman Saleh, head of the Red Sea Ports Authority, stressed that the heads of ports should be in contact with the Egyptian Meteorological Authority to ensure the regularity and safety of maritime navigation. (File/AFP)
Updated 17 January 2019
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Egypt reopens five ports after weather improves

  • Several Egyptian port cities and the capital Cairo were hit by a severe sandstorm on Wednesday
  • The Red Sea Ports Authority announced the weather has improved and winds have stabilized

ALEXANDRIA: Egypt reopened five ports on Thursday that it had shut due to bad weather as conditions improved and winds stabilized, the Red Sea Ports Authority said.

Several Egyptian port cities and the capital Cairo were hit by a severe sandstorm on Wednesday, which prompted the closure of several ports.
He said the decision to reopen the ports was made after wind speed, wave height and visibility had returned to "normal levels that allow ships to enter and exit the port safely".

The ports of Suez and Zeitiyat in the Suez governorate were reopened at 0700 local time (0500 GMT) and the Sharm Al-Sheikh port in the South Sinai governorate reopened at 0800 local, the authority said.

He said the decision to reopen the ports was made after wind speed, wave height and visibility had returned to "normal levels that allow ships to enter and exit the port safely".

Ayman Saleh, head of the Red Sea Ports Authority, stressed that the heads of ports should be in contact with the Egyptian Meteorological Authority to ensure the regularity and safety of maritime navigation.


Migrant killed during Libya disembarkation: UN

Updated 5 min 11 sec ago

Migrant killed during Libya disembarkation: UN

  • ‘This was tragedy waiting to happen’: International Organization for Migrationspokesman Leonard Doyle
  • IOM demands ‘immediate action ... to put an end to the suffering of civilians in Libya, especially detained migrants’

GENEVA: A Sudanese man was shot and killed Thursday as he and other migrants returned to shore by the Libyan Coast Guard tried to resist being sent back to detention, the UN said.
The International Organization for Migration strongly condemned the incident and demanded that Libyan authorities investigate and bring those responsible to justice.
“This was tragedy waiting to happen,” IOM spokesman Leonard Doyle said in a statement.
“The use of live bullets against unarmed vulnerable civilians, men, women and children alike, is unacceptable under any circumstances and raises alarms over the safety of migrants and humanitarian staff,” he added.
The UN agency said its staff had been on site at the Abusitta Disembarkation point in Tripoli when as many as 103 migrants returned to shore resisted being sent back to Libyan detention centers.
When several migrants tried to run away from the guards, “armed men began shooting into the air,” and one migrant was hit by a bullet in the stomach, according to the IOM staff accounts.
“Despite immediately receiving medical aid on the spot by an IOM doctor and then being transferred to a nearby clinic, he died two hours after admission,” the agency said.
The man’s death, it said, stood as “a stark reminder of the grim conditions faced by migrants picked up by the Coast Guard after paying smugglers to take them to Europe.”
The UN and aid groups have warned that rescued migrants returned to Libya face rampant human rights abuses in both official and illegal centers in the war-ravaged country.
According to the UN, some 5,000 migrant women, children and men remain detained in inhumane conditions in Libya — more than 3,000 of them in areas of active conflict.
In June, an airstrike on the Tajoura detention center killed 53 migrants, including six children.
“That facility remains operational to this day, despite persistent calls to end the arbitrary detention of migrants,” IOM said.
“Alternatives to detention must be found,” it said, stressing that the “increasing reports of abuse and human trafficking from detention centers are truly alarming.”
IOM demanded “immediate action ... to put an end to the suffering of civilians in Libya, especially detained migrants.”