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Sinai Peninsula: Sisi’s offensive continues despite promises

25 Mar, 2018 18:34:00

Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has long been one of the most under-developed areas of the North African country, despite renewed pledges by successive governments to transform the volatile desert region into a promising tourism and agricultural hub.

The country's longest-serving presidents have never been interested in investing resources to develop the area, experts say, including Egypt's current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

"Every Egyptian regime since declaring the Egyptian republic in 1952 had the ability to transform Sinai into a multibillion-dollar agricultural, mining, industrial, naval and tourist hub," Sinai researcher and writer Mohannad Sabry told.

As Egypt approaches its presidential election on Monday, Egyptians are expected to elect Sisi for a second term, but likely not for his renewed pledges on development, nor for his promises to overcome "terror" attacks in the country.

Dubbed a "sham", the election is widely expected to see Sisi outwin his only opponent, 66-year-old Moussa Mustafa Moussa, chairman of the liberal El-Ghad Party, and a Sisi loyalist who has previously heavily endorsed the president.