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Sisi extends state of emergency for another three months

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has extended the state of emergency nationwide for the ninth time in a row due to the security conditions in the country. It will last at least for another three months.

Although the decision to extend the state of emergency every three months is something that Egyptians have been used to since 2017, the latest extension came at a time when Egypt-Ethiopia relations are strained by the Great Renaissance Dam crisis. There is a threat from both sides of a military solution.

The state of emergency was originally declared across Egypt after attacks on 9 April 2017 which targeted two Coptic churches in Tanta, north of the capital Cairo, and Alexandria, on the north coast. Forty-five people were killed.

The Emergency Law significantly enhances the powers of the security agencies to arrest and monitor, and allows restrictions on freedom of movement in some areas.

"In view of the serious security conditions experienced by the country and after taking the opinion of the Council of Ministers, the President of the Republic decided to declare a state of emergency throughout the country for a period of three months; as from 27 October 2019," said the announcement in the official gazette.

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It continued: "The armed forces and police shall take the necessary measures to counter the dangers and financing of terrorism, maintain security throughout the country, protect public and private property and save the lives of citizens."

A similar state of emergency was imposed for the first time by Sisi in October 2014, but was initially limited to North Sinai.

Tensions have escalated between Cairo and Addis Ababa in recent days over the Dam on the Blue Nile, prompting the US to offer its services as a mediator.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said last week that his country would not stop work until the project has been finished.

He threatened that his armed forces will recruit millions of people to face any attack. The government in Cairo is concerned that the dam will have a negative impact on Egypt's share of water from the River Nile.

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