Egyptian army has turned Sinai schools into military bases, says rights group

Egyptian army has turned Sinai schools into military bases, says rights group

Exclusive: According to the group, the military’s campaign against militants is jeopardizing the right of children to education.

During a 10-year conflict with militants in Sinai, a rights group has found that Egyptian army have seized 37 schools and turned them into military bases, while dozens more have been destroyed.

The UK-based Sinai Foundation for Human Rights (SFHR) accused the Egyptian armed forces of compromising the right to education of children during its campaign against militants in north Sinai in an investigation that lasted months

Utilizing satellite pictures, video, photographs and declaration from witnesses who live in the scantily populated region, the gathering found the military had done the “pointless focusing of specific schools”, causing “local area wide shock”.

Co-founder and executive director of SFHR, Ahmed Salem, stated: Schools serve as bases because they typically have two or three stories, whereas the majority of the area’s buildings only have one story. It gives the military a spot to situate expert sharpshooters.”

According to the SFHR, clashes between the army and insurgents resulted in the destruction of 59 schools, and militants also attacked or destroyed three schools. According to SFHR, students now have “no education and heightened illiteracy.”

it would be a concerning violation of the rights of children to access education in a safe and secure environment. It could also disrupt the lives of families in the area who rely on these schools for their children’s education. Military use of civilian infrastructure is generally discouraged under international humanitarian law as it can lead to civilian harm and destruction of civilian property. It is important for all parties involved to prioritize the safety and well-being of civilians, especially children, in any conflict or security operation.

Since journalists and other outside observers have been barred from the area, it has been difficult to assess the impact of the conflict on civilians. Operations have largely been concealed from the general public. Tourist resorts at the southern tip of the peninsula have largely been spared by the violence.

SFHR’s satellite images showed military-occupied schools, including the construction of radio towers and fortifications like brick walls in the vicinity.

According to SFHR, images of the joint elementary school in the Rafah region of the country showed that farmland immediately surrounding the school had been destroyed. Inside the school, armored vehicles and military personnel were captured on camera from below.

The rights group mentioned a father whose three children went to al-Mahdeya. He said that two of his children stopped going to school because other schools didn’t have enough space for them. The public authority had neglected to satisfactorily migrate youngsters in the wake of assuming control over their schools, SFHR said.

A video of the demolished al-Shatea joint elementary school in the Sheikh Zuweid region indicates that the school was completely destroyed.

Separate video by favorable to government equipped gatherings in Sinai showed broken work areas and a chalkboard harmed by shrapnel.

According to SFHR, militants had placed explosives inside schools in other instances to prevent the army from using them.

The Egyptian government and assailants have been blamed by privileges bunches for perpetrating wrongdoings during the threats in north Sinai, home to generally a portion of 1,000,000 individuals. Human Rights Watch has previously alleged that warring parties have violated human rights and the laws of war. It additionally guaranteed security powers killed many claimed fear mongers in “extrajudicial killings”.

A growing body of international law and UN Security Council resolutions have agreed that schools should not be used by the military in armed conflicts.

SFHR claimed that it had inquired about its initial findings in letters to the Egyptian minister of education, chair of the education committee in the Egyptian parliament, governor of north Sinai, and undersecretary of the Ministry of Education in north Sinai.

In the past, the government has stated in the media that it has supported the establishment of brand-new schools throughout north Sinai over the past few years. This is not true, according to SFHR, who claim that 96 schools in north Sinai cannot be used and that many children who are officially enrolled in school are not receiving education.

Egypt says 11 troops killed in militant attack in northern Sinai

Exclusive: According to the group, the military’s campaign against militants is jeopardizing the right of children to education.

Egypt’s military announced on Saturday that a militant attack in the volatile northern part of the Sinai peninsula has resulted in the deaths of at least 11 soldiers, one of whom was an officer.

The militants attacked a water pumping station east of the Suez Canal, according to a statement. It provided no additional location-related information.

The assertion said security powers conflicted with the going after aggressors. According to the report, the attack left at least five other soldiers injured. It added that they were pursuing the militants in a remote area of Sinai.

According to two Sinai residents, the attack occurred in the town of Qantara in the Ismailia province, which extends east from the Suez Canal.

Residents who spoke on condition of anonymity for their own safety claimed that the militants escaped to the desert in northern Sinai after ambushing guards at the pumping facility.

The ambush on Saturday, one of the deadliest attacks on Egyptian security forces in recent memory, was not claimed by any group.

A natural gas pipeline in Bir al-Abd, a town in the northern Sinai, was set ablaze last week by suspected militants, but no one was hurt.

After the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013, Egypt is fighting an insurgency in the Sinai led by Islamic State. This insurgency has grown more intense since. Numerous attacks have been carried out by the militants, primarily against Christians and security personnel.

Since February 2018, when the Egyptian military launched a major operation in Sinai, as well as portions of the Nile delta and deserts along the country’s western border with Libya, the pace of militant attacks has slowed to a trickle.

The battle against assailants in Sinai has to a great extent been stowed away from general society, with columnists, non-occupants and outside spectators banned from the area. Additionally, the conflict has been kept out of the tourist resorts at the southern tip of the peninsula.

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