Protests In Egypt Over Red Sea Islands Deal

Edited by Nelly T.

Egyptians take to the streets on Friday as a demonstration of protest to Cairo’s ceding of the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia as part of a new agreement between the states on maritime borders.

The mass demonstration was organised by Egyptian social media activists “January 2011 Revolution,” which rejected the decision of the Egyptian regime to “sell part of Egypt” to the Saudi kingdom. A drawing of the two disputed islands, along with their names, appeared on the invitation created for the event on Facebook.

Protests are likely to take place in Egyptian provinces while the main demonstration will be held in Tahrir Square in Cairo. The organisers expressed their wish for at least a million people to participate in the mass protests; 34, 000 have already confirmed their attendance on Facebook.

“January 2011 Revolution” group will be facing political pressures to turn the mass protest into an anti-Sisi spectacle as well as possible attempts by the Egyptian security apparatus to disrupt the demonstrations.

“We reject attempts of some Muslim Brotherhood members and other forces to ride the wave of our planned activity on Friday. We do not allow any political movement to harness this activity to its own interests.

“The main aim of this event is to protect the land and the Egyptian sovereignty. We warn all participants not to raise banners of the Muslim Brotherhood or of any other political force,” The Egyptian social media activists wrote on Facebook.

A petition against the Egyptian-Saudi deal over the island was published on Tahrir News, and Egyptian news site, emphasising just how controversial the deal is. The petition is titled “no to renouncing Tiran and Sanafir islands,” the petition states that by renouncing the Red Sea islands, Egypt’s government violates paragraph 150 in the Egyptian constitution, according to which “it is prohibited to sign any agreement that requires Egypt to forego part of its land.”