COP27 must not hide the nature of the Al-Sissi regime

Lhe fight against global warming requires the mobilization of all. This disruption of an unprecedented scale that does not respect borders is already hitting everywhere, whatever the nature of the regimes of the already most exposed countries. No amount of strictly nationalistic rhetoric will turn him back. Only the path of solidarity will make it possible to respond to a crisis that is already producing its destructive effects and that requires a fundamentally multilateral response.

Also read: How will the negotiations take place at COP27? Ask your questions to an NGO leader

It is therefore logical and satisfactory that, due to the continuous rotation between continents since the beginning of the Conferences of the Parties on climate change, the 2022 Conference will be hosted in 2022 by a large African country, Egypt. Hoping that the voice of the South is better heard there.

It is equally important that holding this international conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh be an opportunity to reiterate how human rights continue to be painfully ignored by the regime of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi, which She was going to be enthroned in the center of the family photo scheduled for November 7 along with a hundred heads of state and government.

The latter is a past master at managing a form of strategic annuity. It allows you to benefit from the indulgence of countries that claim to be viscerally attached to the defense of principles and values. This is demonstrated, for example, by the temperance of the Joe Biden administration, which has only marginally cut US aid paid to Egypt since his arrival in the White House.

A shyness that is also illustrated in the French case with the emblematic award of the Legion of Honor to this perfect example of a potentate, in 2020, by President Emmanuel Macron. These countries claim to advocate strongly for human rights in the privacy of their face-to-face meetings with Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi. Their results don’t really seem to validate the effectiveness of this approach.

Silence of civil society

Imprisoned far from Sharm El-Sheikh, one of the figures of the 2011 revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak, Alaa Abd El-Fattah, recalled this situation in a dramatic gesture by hardening the hunger strike he is carrying out to denounce the conditions of detention in Egyptian prisons with a sinister reputation. She now risking her own life. The fate of this left-wing activist, who has spent most of the last nine years in prison, abandoned to arbitrariness, illustrates that of the 60,000 political prisoners, both Islamist and liberal, who languish in the jails of the Egyptian leader.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers At COP27, the tenacious shadow of Alaa Abd El-Fattah, famous Egyptian political prisoner on hunger strike

Evoking the gagging of Egyptian civil society, on the occasion of a climate summit, is all the less irrelevant since the latter also has a prominent role to play in the matter. Despite a vague promise of political dialogue, the iron hand of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi prevents it, putting all his weight in the organization, operation and financing of defense groups in the Egyptian environment.

Thus, it prevents society from getting involved in a vital debate by blocking the slightest discussion about the legitimacy of presidential projects that may go against the necessary adaptation efforts in a country that is already on the tightrope.

The argument of “stability” that authoritarian regimes inevitably wield should not mask the often proven evidence: a dictatorship is no more sustainable than fossil fuels.

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