Saturday,22 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1327, (12 - 18 January 2017)
Saturday,22 September, 2018
Issue 1327, (12 - 18 January 2017)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Al-Sisi welcomes Kiir in Cairo

PRESIDENT Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi welcomed his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir in Cairo on Tuesday. The two leaders exchanged ideas about the current situation in South Sudan. Egypt was the second nation after Sudan to officially recognise South Sudan as an independent sovereign state.

The oil-rich nation has been afflicted by civil war since its independence on 9 July 2011 as the outcome of a 2005 agreement that ended Africa's longest-running civil war. Made up of the 10 southern-most states of Sudan, South Sudan degenerated into tribal wars, in particular between the nation's largest ethnic group, the Dinka, and the second largest ethnic group, the Nuer. Kiir is a Dinka, while the leader of the opposition and onetime vice-president of South Sudan Reik Machar. In early 2013, Machar began vocally criticising Kiir’s leadership of the country and his handling of the economy.

Machar formed a new party independent of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement, namely the Sudan People's Liberation Movement in opposition, also known as the anti-governmental forces. Widespread ethnic cleansing, burning villages, looming starvation and gang rape ensued and an estimated 2.6 million people were rendered homeless, as displaced people or refugees.

More than 6 million people are suffering from starvation. Egypt has offered support in various fields, and in particular technical, agricultural and economic development. Egypt is also keen to develop the vast water resources of South Sudan. The White Nile River that provides 15 per cent of Egypt water originates in South Sudan.

Shoukri in Germany

EGYPT's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri headed yesterday to Germany in a trip that aimed to boost bilateral relations and encourage more cooperation in the fields of trade and investment. During the two-day visit, Shoukri met Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Undersecretary for Foreign and Security Policy Christoph Heusgen, Minister of Interior Thomas de Maiziere, Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel. He discussed with them the current regional issues including the situation in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iraq as well as the Palestinian cause and cast light on Egypt's vision for a political settlement to end these crises.

Shoukri was interviewed by a number of prominent German media stations and newspapers including the influential N24 channel. The minister also tackled Egypt's role in combatting illegal immigration with German officials and Egypt vision regarding containing all sources of terrorism. Egypt's efforts to combat illegal migration was also discussed during his visit.

Shoukri had also met with the German Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt, Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Muller, parliamentary group leader of the ruling CDU/CSU faction Volker Kauder, and Vice-President of the Bundestag Edelgard Bulmahn. The visit to Germany came within a series of visits and meetings that aim to explain Egypt's vision regarding different issues in the region. According to a statement issued by the ministry on Tuesday, the visit "represents a practical embodiment of the Egyptian vision of opening up for its main partners with the aim of discussing bilateral and regional issues of interest." The statement added that although the visit was short, it reflects Germany's appreciation of Egypt as a regional partner it want to boost its relationship with.

Gag order on judges and judiciary news

SUPREME Judicial Council ordered on 9January, a gag on publishing news related to judges and the judiciary on websites and digital outlets, according to state media. The decision, which was published on several news outlets, stated that the council decided to ban any news that deals with the affairs of the judiciary on social media. It added that violating this decision will lead to “disciplinary measures” and possible referral to other entities which will investigate the matter.

The council only has authority over judges and members of the prosecution who work under the umbrella of the Ministry of Justice, and not over citizens. However, according to Egyptian law, a media gag over the news of the judiciary can only be ordered by the General Prosecution. According to the Supreme Judicial Council’s regulations, judges cannot express their views on political matters in public as this is considered a violation of ethics. Any such violations would see a judge referred to investigation.

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