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Thursday, 15 February 2018

Egypt in the news on 15 February 2017

The arrest of Hisham Genena is still the top story on Egypt in the international press this morning, but that’s only because news desks here and abroad are literally asleep. As soon as they wake, the story of the day will be the overnight arrest by military prosecutors of Islamist former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh on charges he had contact with the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Elsewhere today:

Will Egypt’s Benban solar park begin to attract private investment into the country’s promising PV market? It already is, but Green Tech Media misunderstands the role of development finance institutions de-risking EM development projects like this by providing financing, seeing it as a sign that the private sector isn’t interested in the opportunity because of the tousle over repricing after the first feed-in tariff program. Phase two of the FiT sees the complex being developed just about entirely by the private sector.

In related news, Germany’s ib vogt GmbH has begun construction work on power projects with a combined capacity of 166.5 MW in Benban, according to PV-Tech. “Following the successful construction and energization of our 64 MW [Phase 1] project in Egypt, we are pleased to announce the commencement of the build-out of our next three plants in this series and are proud that these are the first of the Round 2 projects,” says ib vogt Managing Director Anton Milner.

Desalination projects in Egypt are required to solve current problems apart from future ones to be caused by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Sonia Farid writes for Al Arabiya English. While the projects are not the direct result of the issues caused by the dam, the problems regarding its construction expedited the pace of desalination projects. “The construction of the dam alerted us all to the necessity of looking for alternatives to Nile water which we now depend on almost exclusively,” professor of water chemistry Hossam Ahmed Shawki told Farid.

Amnesty International is alleging that the Armed Forces have been using illegal cluster bomb munitions in its campaign against terrorists in North Sinai. In a statement on Wednesday, the organization claims its experts have analyzed weapons in video footage released by the Armed Forces, which they say shows Air Force personnel loading Egyptian fighter planes with cluster munitions.

More foreign coverage from Operation Sinai 2018 came in yesterday, with Anadolu noting the arrest of foreign militants in Sinai during the operation.

Also worth a quick skim this morning:

  • The Coptic Orthodox Church is dedicating a new church to the 21 Egyptian martyrs killed in Libya by Daesh three years ago, CNA reports.
  • It is vital that technology companies recognize the role they play in fostering free expression and act accordingly, Jillian C York writes for EFF, noting rights activist and blogger Wael Abbas’ experience of being blocked on social media platforms.
  • An unidentified Egyptian citizen was repatriated from Italy for security reasons, the Italian Interior Ministry said in a statement. The 44-year-old was previously expelled from France for holding radical sermons.
  • HRW wants FIFA to condemn rights abuses in Chechnya if Egypt’s national football team will use capital Grozny as its World Cup base camp, Reuters reports.
  • Mohamed Salah’s solid form continues to dazzle the foreign press, with the latest ink coming from Eurosport’s Le Buzz.

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