Bedouin in Egypt´s Sinai ´end siege of monitor camp´ (BBC) British Broadcasting Company) 16 March 2012 Last updated at 18:07 GMT)
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Armed Bedouin demonstrators in Egypt´s Sinai peninsula have lifted
their siege of a base used by foreign peacekeepers, Bedouin and
security sources say.
The Bedouin, who surrounded the camp belonging to the Multinational
Force and Observers (MFO), reportedly reached an understanding with
Officials have been given a month to release several jailed
tribesmen, some of them convicted of terrorism charges.
The protest outside the MFO´s North Camp at al-Gorah began eight days
On Thursday, the mission confirmed that road access to the site had
been blocked by Bedouin and that helicopters were being used to
provide transportation, but stressed that all MFO personnel
The Bedouin had "no complaints against the MFO" but believed that by
targeting the MFO´s base they would "bring a more rapid response from
Cairo authorities to their demands", a statement said.
The MFO is an independent force formed to monitor the borders between
Egypt and Israel following the 1979 peace accord. It consists of
military staff from 12 countries including the US and France.
On Friday afternoon, Egyptian security sources said the Bedouin had
agreed to lift their siege following negotiations with the Egyptian
The authorities had been given until 16 April to release several
jailed, they added. A committee will reportedly examine their demands.
There was no immediate comment from the MFO on the end of the siege.
Sinai Bedouin routinely complain of unfair treatment and neglect by
Egypt´s government. They regularly press their demands by staging
protests and blocking roads. Occasionally they take tourists hostage.
Such incidents have increased in frequency since the overthrow of the
former President Hosni Mubarak last year.
The imprisonment of Bedouin arrested in the aftermath of the Red Sea
attacks is a longstanding grievance.
Bombings took place at tourist locations in Taba in 2004, at Sharm el-
Sheikh in 2005 and Dahab in 2006. A total of 130 people were killed.
Thousands of Bedouin were arrested by the Egyptian authorities after
the bombings. Hundreds remain imprisoned without trial.
Egypt´s interim government recently announced that death sentences
issued to three men convicted of involvement in the bombings had been
overturned after their trials were deemed unfair. (© BBC MMXII
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