El-Sisi calls for 'prompt compensation' for Sinai's evacuees

Ahram Online , Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

The Egyptian president says the country will not forget the 'sacrifice' of North Sinai's people

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The rubble of a house is seen after it was demolished during a military operation by Egyptian security forces in the Egyptian city of Rafah, near the border with southern Gaza Strip. (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has urged authorities to pay North Sinai's evacuated residents financial compensation promptly.

Presidential spokesperson Alaa Seif said El-Sisi stressed facilitating procedures of paying the compensation, Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website reported on Wednesday.

Over 1,100 residents are being evacuated within an area 300 metres west of the Rafah border with the Gaza Strip as authorities embark on forming a buffer zone to secure it.

Residents were given a 48-hour notice to evacuate their homes. They are expected to receive a monthly payment of LE300 for three months to cover rent for alternative homes before receiving final compensation of the land they have lost. Payments have not been made yet.  

El-Sisi also said that Egypt "will not forget the sacrifice" of Sinai's people, according to Seif.

The government declared a state of emergency in areas of North Sinai, following a major deadly attack on an army checkpoint on Friday, killing at least 31 security personnel.

The attack has not been claimed by any group yet. However, groups like Al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis have claimed responsibility for previous attacks on security in Sinai. There have also been speculations that jihadist group ISIS – which has taken over areas of Iraq and Syria – has connections and recruitment cells in the peninsula.

The Egyptian army has been facing a decade-long jihadist militant insurgency in Sinai, with militant attacks increasing over the past year and expanding into Cairo and the Nile Delta, killing hundreds of army and police personnel. Civilians have also been caught up in the violence.

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