Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has saluted the sacrifices and efforts of the armed forces in the Sinai Peninsula ahead of the commemoration of the 33rd annual Sinai Liberation Day.
“The freedom of taking decisions and a strong will necessitates the existence of strong armed forces who believe in their responsibility towards their nation,” says el-Sisi in a 10-minute recorded speech.
Egypt’s armed forces have been combatting a ten-year Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula that has left hundreds dead and many others injured on both sides.
Islamist attacks against security forces in North Sinai have spiked to almost daily levels since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
The Egyptian president also saluted the martyrs who have recently died during what he described as “the battle of dignity” against Islamist militants, stressing that Egypt will not allow anyone to “threaten its national security.”
“Sinai residents have also been playing a vital role in our battle with terrorist groups, and we have been making all efforts to provide them with security.”
The president also spoke about his government’s plans for development in Sinai.
“In response to the needs of the people living there, we are working on building new cities such as a New Rafah city, as well as an new Ismailia city,” said el-Sisi.
The president said all these projects aim to create job opportunities for youth in Sinai.
25 April marks the 33rd anniversary of the 1982 withdrawal of Israeli forces from Egypt’s Sinai after 25 years of occupation.