Egypt in the 1990’s

By | January 10, 2022

According to collegesanduniversitiesinusa, the situation that arose with the start of negotiations between Arabs and Israelis, under the aegis of the United States, favored the assumption, by the Egypt, of the role of mediation in the area. In particular, Cairo, making use of peace with Israel, on the one hand, and of Y. ῾Arāfāt’s specific ties with the Egyptian reality, on the other, could offer itself as an important point of reference for what should have been the new structure overall of the chessboard. This orientation was supported by the now consolidated convergence with the United States. The role of Egypt it can, therefore, be summed up in the double commitment to smooth out the conflicts between Arabs and Israelis and between Washington and the Near East.

In this context, the meetings that took place between the president should be remembered Ḥ. Mubārak and the Israeli I. Rabin on 21 July 1992 in Cairo and on 14 April 1993 in Ismailia, the latter preceded by a visit, on 6 April, by Mubārak to the White House. On the other hand, on the internal level the Egypt was committed to trying to consolidate its economic structures (beginning of the reclamation of the Halaib region in May 1993) and political, despite the persistent lack of authentic democratic development (on 24 October 1993 the presidential elections confirmed Mubārak with 96% of votes and ῾A. Ṣidqī was able to give life to his third ministry). Efforts to foster positive developments in inter-regional relations continued, however, intense: in September 1994 the 3rd UN World Conference on Population was hosted in Cairo, which saw a wide-ranging debate on abortion, contraception and women’s freedom; in addition, the meeting in Alexandria with the heads of state of Syria and Saudi Arabia on the peace process with Israel (28 – 29 December 1994) and the Cairo summit between Egypt, Israel, Palestine and Jordan (2 February 1995), to start collaboration against fundamentalism and terrorism.

In fact, the problem of terrorist violence had been appearing in Egypt for years in dramatic terms, with a spiral of murderous actions promoted by extremist groups which were matched by police repressions. Grew up especially in the regions of the Upper Egypt, more backward and where control was made difficult by geographical peculiarities, the wave of extremism of Islamic imprint had spread almost everywhere, finding the possibility of taking root especially in the outskirts of the capital. . Among the causes of the profound unease of some circles we can include economic malaise, the loss of traditional values, fanatical intolerance for attitudes judged to be pagan. Among the most sensational acts of violence are the failed attack on Mubārak in Addìs Ababa,June 26, 1995 for the OAU (Organization de l’Unité Africaine) summit, with a train of investigations and accusations, and the killing in Cairo of 17 Greek tourists (April 18, 1996). In 1997, in addition to the attacks against intellectuals, Coptic exponents and the security forces, those against foreign tourists continued, despite the government having responded to the wave of violence by extending the state of emergency for three years (23 February 1997) already in force: on September 18th there were ten victims for an action in front of the Cairo Museum and on the 17th November came the serious attack in Luxor, where 68 tourists perished.

There were multiple and altogether contradictory attempts to explain and stem the phenomenon. An attempt was made to identify the clandestine organizations considered responsible: according to the most probable hypothesis behind the violence there were essentially two groups, al-Ǧamā῾a al-Islāmiyya, or Islamic Group, and al-Damār wa ‘l-taḥrīb (” Destruction and sabotage “), possibly derived from the former. Constitutional order was insisted upon with the electoral rounds of November 29 and December 6, 1995(but the questions about the full correctness of this consultation remain heavy), which renewed the National Assembly confirming the absolute majority of the deputies of the National Democratic Party in power. This was followed by the appointment as prime minister of Kamāl al-Ǧanzūrī (January 3, 1996). The main objectives of the new executive were the relaunch of the economy and the fight against terrorism, which was also accompanied by an accentuation of the repressive policy towards the opposition forces. Furthermore, the Egyptian adhesion to the initiative promoted by B. Clinton with the conference in Šarm al-Šayh̠ (13 November 1996), in which 29 participated heads of state and government, for a joint effort against terrorism. During 1998, censorship of the press was tightened and in May 1999 a law was approved, strongly contested by the opposition, which gave the government the power to control the activities of associations that dealt with the protection of human rights.

Egypt in the 1990's