Sinai chieftain demands return of 30 km of land near canal cities

Bedouin chieftain Eissa al-Kharafin demanded Wednesday that an area of 30 square kilometers near the Canal cities should be given back to North Sinai.  

According to him, the area used to be governed by the North Sinai Governorate until former President Anwar Sadat changed the borders.

“Sadat had re-demarcated the area in 1973 and took them from our administrative borders,” he said. “President Mohamed Morsy has allocated LE500 million of Suez Canal revenues to the canal cities. We also have the right to these revenues.”

In a meeting with North Sinai Governor Sayed Harhour on Monday, Kharafin said that the people of Sinai would have had more economic opportunities if they'd been living on land near the canal.

“We would not have had extremists, for this area would have become a trading place,” he said.

Military expert Talaat Abu Moslem described the Bedouin leader’s demands as an attempt to separate Sinai from the rest of Egypt.

He said Sadat re-demarcated the area after the peace treaty to promote development to the east and west of the Suez Canal and avoid separating Sinai from the rest of the governorates.

“Sinai residents are no different than those of Port Said,” he said. “It was wise of Sadat to keep the unity of the Egyptian fabric.”

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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