Egypt fight against ISIS threatens humanitarian crisis: HRW

2018-04-23 12:14
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Egypt's military operations against an affiliate of the Islamic State group in North Sinai is threatening to spark a humanitarian crisis, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.

The offensive launched on the 9th of February "has left up to 420,000 residents in four north eastern cities in urgent need of humanitarian aid," said the New York-based organisation.

The campaign "has included imposing severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods in almost all of North Sinai," HRW said in a report.

"Residents say they have experienced sharply diminished supplies of available food, medicine, cooking gas, and other essential commercial goods."

The authorities conducting the campaign, dubbed "Sinai 2018", have also banned the sale of gasoline for cars in the area "and cut telecommunication services for several days at a time," the report said.

Human Rights Watch also said authorities had "cut water and electricity almost entirely in the most eastern areas of North Sinai, including Rafah and Sheikh Zuwayed."

"A counterterrorism operation that imperils the flow of essential goods to hundreds of thousands of civilians is unlawful and unlikely to stem violence," said Sarah Leah Whitson, the organisation's Middle East and North Africa director.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

"The Egyptian army's actions border on collective punishment," she added.

Since the launch of the offensive, the military has distributed images of forces providing humanitarian assistance to people living in the area.

According to the military, residents support the campaign and many have come forward with useful information to help the authorities neutralise the jihadists.

Security forces have stepped up efforts to quell attacks by an Egyptian jihadist group that later declared allegiance to IS since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was deposed in 2013. Morsi was forced out by the military, following mass protests against him.

The group has killed hundreds of soldiers, policemen and civilians, mainly in its North Sinai stronghold but also elsewhere in Egypt.

More than 100 jihadists and at least 30 soldiers have been killed in the on going operation, according to army figures.

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.