Egypt court orders expert committee to study al-Warraq Island cases: Report

Egypt’s Administrative Court on Saturday ordered the formation of a tripartite committee from the Justice Ministry’s Experts Authority to study two cases filed by residents of al-Warraq Island against establishing a new urban community on the island.

Al-Shorouk newspaper reported that the residents had filed their cases against a government decree on June 2 regarding new constructions on the island and the transference of the island’s dependency from the localities to the New Urban Communities Authority.

Emad Eddin Mohammed, a member of the defense team for the island’s people has said that the government’s decision disregards articles of the Constitution and the principle of equal opportunity among citizens, as the residents of Warraq island would be subject to displacement unlike other citizens.

Khaled Ali Eid, one of the lawyers of the families, said that the decision contradicts the goal of the New Urban Communities Authority, which was originally established for the reconstruction of urban communities in the desert, not residential areas, and for the conversion of agricultural land into buildings.

Eid added that the island is like a food basket for the governorates of Greater Cairo as it produces strategic agricultural crops, and that continuing to implement this decision would destroy an important agricultural area.

The court has set three levels for the committee’s work: The first is declaration on the situation of the island, checking whether it’s an independent residential community or a dependent local unit to a village or city council. The second is preparing an inventory of the real estate established on the island and the proportion of agricultural land, and the last is preparing a third inventory on the land, for which the Government has issued expropriation decisions.

Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced in December that the government intends to develop Warraq Island into a modernized, urban society, and that the objective of the government is to upgrade and develop its services as well existing buildings on the island.

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