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Egyptian court overturns decision to 'gift' Red Sea islands to Saudi

Egyptian court overturns decision to 'gift' Red Sea islands to Saudi

Court

A court in Egypt has reversed the al-Sisi government’s decision in April this year to hand two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

The government decision had sparked off protests in the north African country, which was followed by a police clampdown and subsequently a court jailing some of the protesters on charges of breaking a 2013 law that bans protests and disrupting of traffic.

Some Egyptians opposed to the deal has accused the president of selling the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi in return for investments.

The current decision is seen as a victory for opponents of the move, who disagreed with the government that the islands always belonged to Saudi and that Egypt was only playing the role of a caretaker since the 1950s.

The north African country is no stranger to protests in the recent past, streets protests led to the toppling of two governments in a matter of years, that of Hosni Mubarak and even that of democratically elected Mohammed Morsi.

The current president, Al-Sisi is a former military man turned politician who is bent on rooting out public protests and also fighting the militancy in the increasingly restive north Sinai region.