Tuesday,24 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1231, (29 January - 4 February 2015)
Tuesday,24 October, 2017
Issue 1231, (29 January - 4 February 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Newsreel

Al-Ahram Weekly

Al-Sisi in Ethiopia

PRESIDENT ABDEL-FATTAH AL-SISI is expected to arrive in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to take part in the 24th African Union Summit, due to start tomorrow. The trip marks a possible boost to bilateral relations and the easing of differences. The theme of this year’s summit is the Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development, in the framework of the Africa Agenda. Al-Sisi is expected to hold meetings with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and other African leaders.

Egyptian-Ethiopian relations have been tense since Cairo raised concerns that Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam, under construction on the Blue Nile, may affect Egypt’s water supply. Ethiopia has repeatedly stated that Egypt, a downstream country, will not be negatively affected by the dam, which will generate electricity. Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan recently held meetings to examine all aspects of the dam. They have agreed to commission a new report on the effects of the dam by an international consultancy firm.

A high-level delegation headed by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri travelled to Addis Ababa last Saturday as part of preparations for President Al-Sisi’s visit. Shukri met with the chairperson of the AU Commission, Dlamini Zuma, to discuss Egypt’s relations with the union and Cairo’s contribution to its activities, as well as its role in peacekeeping. Shoukri also met with his Algerian, Libyan and Norwegian counterparts to discuss latest developments in the Palestinian issue, Arab and African regions, the security and political situation in Libya, the situation in Syria and Iraq and efforts To contain Ebola.


Train on fire

TRAIN services on the Tanta-Menoufiya-Cairo line are on hold following a fire that broke out on a train travelling from Cairo to Tanta on 26 January. The incident took place near the city of Shebin Al-Kom and left 16 people injured. The train’s last four carriages caught fire in Menoufiya in the Nile Delta, according to National Railways spokesperson Nagwa Albert Habib. Seven of the injured suffered smoke inhalation and were immediately transferred to hospital. A bomb had destroyed a small section of track in the same area on 25 January.

Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website reported that the head of the Railways Authority, Ahmed Hamed, announced that 11 secondary railway lines will be suspended from 5pm to 6am daily until the end of January. “The move aims to protect passengers’ lives,” Hamed said, citing several explosions at train stations, including one in the Nile Delta city of Zaqaziq, which affected the railway services there. He cited 17 reports of “suspicious packages” on railways and in stations last Friday, a day of heightened anti-government protests. A huge fire on a train in Sharqiya left one dead in October 2014.


FGM doctor sentenced to jail

THE AGA Misdemeanours Court sentenced a doctor to two years in prison and a LE500 fine for performing a female genital mutilation (FGM) operation that left a young girl dead. The girl’s father, who commissioned the procedure, received a suspended sentence of three months in prison.

Thirteen-year-old Soheir Al-Batea, dubbed the “FGM victim”, died during an FGM operation in June 2013 from an anaesthetic overdose. The cause of death was recorded in a forensic medicine authority report at a clinic in the rural town of Aga, in Daqahleya governorate. Monday’s verdict reverses an earlier verdict issued in November 2014 by the same court, in which the charges against the doctor were dropped. The prosecution, along with the National Population Council, appealed the acquittal.

“Today was the first time an Egyptian court witnesses two prosecution personnel appealing in a FGM case,” said lawyer Mustafa Ghanoum, who works for an anti-FGM project affiliated with National Population Council. During the 40-minute prosecution speech, he explained, “the first prosecutor discussed the religious and health aspect of FGM and its impact on the female body, while the other discussed the legal aspect of the case.”

Articles 241 and 242 of Egypt’s penal code have criminalised FGM since June 2008, providing sentences for those carrying out the action to between three months and two years in prison or fining them LE1,000 to LE5,000. “We received many complaints of the same kind on the hotline for the children’s rescue,” Ghanoum said. Al-Batea, he said, was the first death case, which provoked a widespread response.

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