Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said on Monday he was lifting the state of emergency he declared more than four years ago, saying the nation was now secure and stable.
“It’s my pleasure that we share this moment which we have sought with struggle and serious work. Egypt has, because of its glorious people and loyal men, become an oasis of security and stability in the region,” the Egyptian leader wrote on Facebook.
“I have decided, for the first time in years, not to extend the nationwide state of emergency.”
Mr El Sisi’s decision is a reflection of the vast security improvement he has overseen since taking office in 2014, a year after he, as defence minister, led the military’s removal of an Islamist president amid mass street protests against his divisive, one-year rule.
The removal of Mohammed Morsi of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood was followed by a significant surge in attacks by extremists waging an insurgency in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula.
They, together with what authorities say are Brotherhood-linked terror groups, carried a series of assassinations and bombings in mainland Egypt that focused on army and security officers as well as security offices and foreign diplomatic missions.
The state of emergency was declared in the aftermath of one of the worst terrorist attacks in Egypt, when extremists in 2017 shot dead at least 300 worshippers in a mosque in northern Sinai.
“As I make this decision, I remember with respect and appreciation our hero martyrs without whom we could not have reached security and stability.”