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Tensions Rise as Egypt Shuts Down Sudanese Schools and Businesses

June 28, 2024

The Municipal Authority of Giza shut down six unlicensed Sudanese schools in Shabramant and arrested their directors for interrogation on Wednesday.

Students in these schools have been given a break without a clear indication of when classes will resume, a decision several refugees criticized due to the absence of alternatives for hundreds of students who cannot enroll in the financially burdening private international schools.

Egyptian authorities have also announced the suspension of all unregulated Sudanese commercial activities starting next Sunday. 

Since the outbreak of war between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in April 2023, approximately 500,000 Sudanese have fled to Egypt, according to the International Organization for Migration. This influx has exacerbated the already tense situation.

Shutting down the schools intensifies the strained relationship between the Sudanese refugee community and Egyptian authorities, following heightened tensions fueled by Sudanese business owners displaying maps that include the Halayeb Triangle, a region disputed between Egypt and Sudan, as part of Sudanese territory.

Amid these escalating tensions, Egyptian authorities have recently deported 700 Sudanese individuals who entered the country illegally.

Following the shutdown, Egypt is set to host a pivotal conference in late June 2024 aimed at uniting Sudanese civil political factions, with the participation of key regional and international stakeholders. The conference seeks to facilitate a consensus among Sudanese groups on fostering enduring peace through an inclusive national dialogue. 

Egypt’s initiative underscores ongoing efforts to halt Sudan’s internal conflict, aligning with regional partners and international bodies including the United Nations, the African Union, the Arab League, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) organization.

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