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Sinai groups to launch protest action over govt neglect

Feb. 24, 2013 11:54 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 25, 2013 1:49 P.M.)
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- Egyptians in the northern Sinai peninsula will launch a campaign of civil disobedience next week to protest the government's neglect of the region, a Ma'an correspondent said.

Political and civil society groups will start a series of sit-in protests and civil disobedience tactics on Tuesday in response to what they see as neglect of the area by Egypt's central government.

Khalid Arafat, chairman of the al-Karama political party, told Ma'an that developments projects initiated by the government have not achieved anything in Sinai, and people will protest until their demands are met.

The policy of neglecting the Sinai peninsula is still being practiced by President Mursi, Arafat added.

Two years after the revolution that toppled president Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's Islamist rulers are contending with a rise in militant activity in the Sinai region that borders Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian security forces have waged a security campaign in the desert Sinai region to reign in militant groups, after 16 Egyptian border guards were killed in an attack on their post in August.

Security problems such as kidnapping, murder, drug smuggling and violence continue to affect the Sinai peninsula, where tribesman have long complained of neglect by the state and have in the past clashed with police, who they accuse of heavy-handed tactics.
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