Egyptian police attack, detain residents of Nile island in preparation for ‘development’ project

Egyptian police attack, detain residents of Nile island in preparation for ‘development’ project
Egyptian forces have attacked residents on the island of Warraq amid preparations for a controversial ‘development’ project that will see the island emptied of its current inhabitants.
2 min read
17 August, 2022
The Egyptian government has previously demolished homes of residents of Warraq Island [Getty File Image]

Egyptian security forces attacked local residents on the Nile island of Warraq near Cairo on Monday, following protests at government plans to confiscate property and empty the island of its inhabitants.

The government intends to make way for commercial and tourism projects on the island.

Video shared on social media showed security forces storming the island and firing tear gas at protesters and beating them. Some protesters were detained.

The Mada Masr news website quoted local residents as saying that 14 people were arrested, after they protested when police forces took measurements of their property in preparation for its confiscation.

Seven people were later released with seven remaining in detention.

Warraq Island is the largest island in the Nile and is located strategically near Cairo and Giza. Several thousand people live there and the island has schools and health facilities but poor infrastructure.

In 2017, the Egyptian government announced a plan to “develop” the island and rename it Horus City. The government has released images showing an ambitious plan to build skyscrapers and resorts.

Residents of the island – referred to as squatters by the government - have clashed several times with police and military forces before.

Police have destroyed homes, farms, and facilities on Warraq Island in an effort to pressure residents to leave.

The Egyptian government has so far seized control of over 70% of the island but many residents refuse to leave.

They have opened up court cases against the government and shown evidence of their ownership of the homes and lands where they live.