The Troubled Peninsula
Sinai is a mess and with kidnapping and beheadings becoming a daily occurrence, the military is finally getting the message.
It seems that anytime we write an article about Sinai, you can guarantee it's bad news. Well unfortunately there is no change. On Sunday, a relative of Zersenay Tadese, Eritrea's first-ever Olympic medalist, has been kidnapped with a ransom set at $44,000.
Since 2009, human trafficking has been on the rise as thousands Eritrean have been taken from refugees camps and sold to Egyptian Bedouins in Sinai. That is, of course, aside from the many who have been kidnapped trying to cross into Israel.
Earlier in the week, a kidnapped Coptic Christian man was found decapitated on Thursday in north Sinai, reportedly snatched on the same day as a Coptic priest was killed. With attacks and killings happening almost everyday, the Egyptian military announced on Friday that they are planning to crackdown on Islamist militants in the area.
Al-Hayat newspaper reported on the Friday that the Army's offensive will include artillery and air power, but also stresses that militants will have a chance to surrender. According to al-Masry al-Youm, the Rafah border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip will be closed 'indefinitely'. It is yet to be decided when exactly the offensive will take place in Sinai, as the military has been fully engaged in maintaining order on the streets of Cairo, since the overthrow of Morsi.
Needless to say Sinai is not a safe place to be right now, and hopefully if the offensive is successful, Egypt will see a sense of security, and perhaps a re-emergence of tourism into the troubled peninsula.
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