Egypt to Set Up New Council to Combat Terrorism
The Egyptian government has announced that they are setting up a new ‘national council’ to combat terrorism in the country.
Today, in a presidential decree, the government said that the council will fight to combat terrorism and extremism in the country by adopting a ‘global national strategy.’
Egypt’s Christian minority has been the target of several terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists over the past year. Islamic State (IS) militants have been occupying Egypt’s Sinai province in the north of the country ever since former president, Mohammed Morsi, was forced from his position by the military.
Morsi was succeeded by current president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has promised to increase efforts in fighting the ‘war against terrorism’.
Thousands of Coptic Christians have been killed by the IS militants over the past four years. The government’s security forces have also been regular targets.
Besides attacks from groups linked to IS, Egypt has also been fighting against jihadist splinter groups. The government believes that these groups are linked to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood – a group that Former President Morsi was a part of.
The new national council will be chaired by el-Sisi, and will include a number of prominent political, religious and military figures.
The Egyptian prime minister, parliament speaker, and a handful of other ministers will be a part of the council, alongside the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, the highest Sunni religious authority in Egypt.
The government said that one of the primary tasks of the council will be to develop job opportunities in the areas that have been hit the hardest by extremism. They believe that by giving people legitimate jobs, they can steer them away from joining extremist groups, such as the Islamic State.
Egypt has also been in talks with the United States and US president, Donald Trump, on ways to fight terrorism in the country. The US has promised to increase their military funding to Egypt in order to help their cause.