Sunday,17 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1365, (19 - 25 October 2017)
Sunday,17 February, 2019
Issue 1365, (19 - 25 October 2017)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

More Ethiopia dam talks

A NEW tripartite meeting was held in Ethiopia yesterday to follow up on technical studies related to the possible impact of Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam on Egypt and Sudan.

Egyptian Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel-Ati who headed Egypt’s delegation to Ethiopia also inspected the dam site on Tuesday to observe construction and explore technical details related to the work of the tripartite technical committee. The visit to the dam was organised by the Ethiopian government.

The previous tripartite meeting, held in Sudan in mid-September, aimed at discussing a preliminary report on the planned studies by the two French firms BRL and Artelia, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid told the Arabic Al-Ahram website.

The two firms are supposed to hold studies about the possible impact of the dam on Egypt and Sudan. The studies were scheduled to start in late 2016 and would have taken 11 months, however, they have not yet started.

The 6,000-megawatt dam is built to help Ethiopia generate electricity.

Egypt, however, has repeatedly expressed concerns that the dam might reduce its share of Nile water.

Ethiopia has emphasised that the dam will not have any negative impact on Egypt or Sudan.

Opening new channels

FOREIGN Minister Sameh Shoukri concluded a visit to Slovenia on Tuesday.

Shoukri discussed ways to boost bilateral relations during his meeting with his Slovenian counterpart Karl Erjavec.

Erjavec stated that his country considers Egypt its most important political and economic partner in the Middle East and Africa and expressed a desire that the coming phase will witness more cooperation.

Shoukri expressed his appreciation for the role that Slovenia is playing in supporting Egypt in the EU and its understanding of the nature of the challenges that Cairo is facing at present with regards to required political, economic and social reform.

The two officials had also exchanged viewpoints with regards to a number of regional issues including the situation in Syria, Libya and the Palestinian problem, Abu Zeid stated.

“The Slovenian official hailed Egypt’s role in achieving Palestinian reconciliation, a step that reflects the importance of Egypt’s regional role in order to attain security and stability in the Middle East,” Abu Zeid added.
Shoukri left for the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana on Monday, the first visit by an Egyptian foreign minister to Slovenia.

In an interview with a satellite TV channel before leaving, Shoukri said Egypt was always ready to open channels of relations with other countries based on mutual respect.

No military trials for protesters

THE SUPREME Constitutional Court (SCC) has ruled that only the civil judiciary, not the military judiciary, has jurisdiction over protest-related cases.

Saturday’s SCC ruling followed a judicial dispute between Beni Sweif Criminal Court and the Military Court in the same governorate over the eligibility to adjudicate three protest-related cases. In response, the State Lawsuits Authority submitted six cases involved in similar judicial disputes to determine which judicial authority has the right to review such cases.

The SCC said that no military personnel participated in the demonstrations and that as long as the defendants did not attack installations, utilities or public properties under the purview of the Armed Forces, only a civilian, not military judiciary, has the authority to pass verdicts.

Defendants in protest cases face charges of illegally protesting, disrupting public security, obstructing traffic and endangering citizens’ interests, as well as possessing fireworks, weapons and signs inciting against the state.  

In May, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi ratified changes to the protest law approved by parliament a month earlier. Amendments to the controversial piece of legislation are limited to Article 10 which originally required organisers of protests to first secure the approval of the Interior Ministry.

Article 10 now requires the Interior Ministry to prove before a judge that any protest represents a threat to public peace before it can ban or postpone a demonstration or change its route. Judges are also required to promptly publish their reasons for upholding or rejecting Ministry of Interior requests.

In December 2016 the SCC ruled Article 10 of the protest law unconstitutional. The SCC said organisers of street protests were obliged to notify only the authorities of any planned demonstration, not to obtain prior approval.

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