‘Elimination of terrorism was not just a security job’, says Egyptian Armed Forces spox

FILE – Spokesman for the Egyptian Armed Forces, Colonel Gharib Abdel Hafez

CAIRO – April 23, 2022: Egyptian Armed Forces spokesman Colonel Gharib Abdel Hafez said in a conference call on Saturday evening that eliminating terrorism in the past years was not just a job of security, but also a global strategy led by all state institutions targeting the roots of the phenomenon.

Abdel Hafez stressed that the focus on development and improving the living conditions of citizens has been combined with security operations, noting that the Egyptian armed forces have made enormous sacrifices to restore normality in Sinai. .

The military spokesman added that Egypt is still waging the battle of awareness against the deliberate distortion of facts, the tarnishing of the image of successes and extremist thinking.

In this context, Abdel Hafez specified that the security agencies psychologically and intellectually rehabilitate the takfiri elements, who surrender, after having ensured that there was no charge against them.

The Colonel pointed out that the Egyptian Armed Forces continue to help other state institutions with development work. He further pointed out that a number of international reports, including those of the United Nations, mentioned that the government was working on security, social and development plans to combat terrorism.

Introducing the role of the Border Guard Force, the Egyptian Armed Forces spokesperson said the branch, together with others, played a pivotal role in cutting off supplies to terrorists, securing strategic borders of the country and which extend over 5,900 kilometres.

Abdel Hafez added that the border guard force continues to abort plans to jeopardize Egyptian national security, and that is by thwarting attempts to smuggle weapons, ammunition and drugs, among others.

This is why the General Commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces Mohamed Zaki, who is also Minister of Defense and Military Production, held a ceremony in exclusive honor of the Border Guard force, the spokesman said. .

Regarding the contributions of the Egyptian armed forces to the development of Sinai, Abdel Hafez said that the number of completed projects is 306, while that of ongoing projects is 137. The total cost of the 443 assigned projects is 401 billion LE.

These projects include five tunnels, passing under the Suez Canal, connecting Sinai to the governorates of Ismailiyah, Suez and Port Said. This is in addition to the roads which stretch for a total of 2,500 kilometres; three residential towns which are New Rafah, New Ismailiyah and Salam Misr opposite Port Said; social housing; 4,100 Bedouin houses; 14 central hospitals, 16 care units equipped with the most modern devices; 30 wastewater treatment and desalination plants, including Sarabium Siphon; and, the rehabilitation of half a million feddans (one feddan equals 4,500 square meters).

In a similar context, the spokesperson said that the Egyptian Armed Forces are carrying out 5,200 projects in the road, electricity and sewage sectors in 184 villages located in 10 governorates under the Decent Life initiative. .

Abdel Hafez concluded by emphasizing the importance of security and stability in maintaining the path of development and supporting counter-terrorism efforts. He also greeted the people of Egypt on the 40th anniversary of the liberation of Sinai marking April 25, and Eastern Easter also marking the same day this year.