Full steam ahead for Egypt-Sudan rail network

Sudanese protesters from the city of Atbara arrive at the Bahari station in Khartoum last year to celebrate transition to civilian rule. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 October 2020

Full steam ahead for Egypt-Sudan rail network

  • Gateway project will open continent to new trade and jobs, says Cairo minister

CAIRO: Egypt’s Minister of Transport Kamel Al-Wazir has discussed plans with Sudanese counterpart Hashem bin Auf to build a cross-border railway network between the two neighboring countries.

The pair discussed terms of a joint cooperation document for railway connectivity, which aims to provide funding for an economic, social and environmental feasibility study for the project.

The planned network will extend from the Egyptian city of Aswan across the southern border to Sudan’s Wadi Halfa in its first phase.

Funding will be organized through cooperation between Egypt, Sudan and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

Al-Wazir signed the document and delivered it to the Sudanese ambassador in Cairo for signing by the country’s transport minister.

The two sides also discussed a number of road projects, including a prospective land road between Egypt and Chad through Sudan. The project aims to be a gateway for trade between the two countries, Chad and West Africa. The Cairo-Sudan-Cape Town road, which passes through nine African countries, was also mentioned by the ministers.

Al-Wazir also said that Egypt is building a Cairo-Arqin road corridor inside its borders, which passes through the governorates of Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Luxor and Aswan, and then then extends to the Egyptian border, passing through the Toshka junctions to Arqin, parallel with Sudan.

He added that the new project is important in achieving land connectivity and increasing trade with African countries, as well as serving Egyptian and African citizens, opening new job opportunities and encouraging comprehensive development.

The Sudanese side also requested cooperation with Egypt in maritime transport and the training of maritime cadres at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport.

Al-Wazir said that Egypt will provide its capabilities to train the workers, whether through the Arab Academy, Egyptian ports or the Egyptian Authority for Maritime Safety.

The two sides also agreed to hold a joint meeting to follow up on the progress of other cooperation projects and to discuss the development of the Nile Valley Authority for River Navigation.

Al-Wazir’s team said that the coming period should include urgent plans to develop the authority, train river workers and provide support through specialized technical cadres.


Daesh claims deadly and rare twin blasts in Baghdad

Updated 22 January 2021

Daesh claims deadly and rare twin blasts in Baghdad

  • Militant group said the bombing ‘targeted apostate Shiites’

BAGHDAD: The Daesh has claimed responsibility for a rare and deadly twin suicide bombing that rocked central Baghdad killing over 30 and wounding dozens.
The group said the bombing “targeted apostate Shiites,” on a statement circulating in an Daesh-affiliated website late Thursday. The statement said the first bombing was carried out by Abu Youssef Al-Ansari and the second by Mohammed Arif Al-MuHajjir.

Iraqi Prime Minister said Yesterday's bombing is a security breach, and the country will not allow it to be repeated. He added that Baghdad is working on a comprehensive security plan to confront the challenges of extremism.
At least 32 people were killed and over 100 people wounded in the blasts on Thursday. Some were in severe condition. According to officials, the first suicide bomber cried out loudly that he was ill in the middle of the bustling market, prompting a crowd to gather around him — and that’s when he detonated his explosive belt. The second detonated shortly after.
The US-led coalition recently ceased combat activities and is gradually drawing down its troop presence in Iraq, sparking fears of an Daesh resurgence. The group has rarely been able to penetrate the capital since being dislodged by Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition in 2017.
The attack was the first in nearly three years to hit the capital. Elsewhere, in northern Iraq and the western desert, attacks continue and almost exclusively target Iraqi security forces.
An increase in attacks was seen last summer as militants took advantage of the government’s focus on tackling the coronavirus pandemic and exploited security gaps across disputed territory in northern Iraq.