The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday raised crisis alert level 4 in strife-torn Egypt because of the deteriorating security and political situation there.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario made the announcement on August 19 (Monday) as he visited the capital city of Cairo. This is the secretary’s second visit to Egypt in the past two weeks “for the purpose of assessing the security situation of Filipino nationals” residing there.
A statement from the department said the Foreign Affairs chief raised alert level 4 in Egypt because of the “marked deterioration of peace and order in Egypt, exacerbated by the ongoing political instability and grave security challenges in that country, make working and living there increasingly difficult and dangerous.”
Alert level 4 entails the mandatory repatriation of Filipinos at the government’s expense. A rapid response team (RRT) already arrived in Cairo on August 17 (Saturday) to assist in the implementation of the repatriation program.
Del Rosario called on Filipinos there to contact the Philippine Embassy in Cairo to avail of the repatriation service. The embassy can be reached at trunk lines +202-2-521-3062/64/65/51, direct lines +202-2-516-6217 or 2-521-3045 and mobile hotlines +2-012-2743-6472 or 012-8247-6554. It can also be reached through its Facebook page Cairo Philippine Embassy and by sending an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Wednesday last week, a Filipino-Egpytian teenager was hit by a stray bullet from the clashes between the Muslim Brotherhood and the forces of Egypt’s interim government.
“The teenager seemed to be on the road to recovery and was in good spirits when she was visited by Secretary del Rosario,” the statement said.
Alert level 3 was raised in Egypt last week amid the violent dispersal of the Brotherhood, known to be supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, the first democratically elected leader of the country.
A one-month state of emergency was also raised in the Arab nation.
On Monday, the leader of the Brotherhood, known as Mohammed Badie, was arrested along with other leaders of the influential Islamist movement.
Earlier that day, Egypt’s former autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak was granted bond by a court. He could be released within the following days and will face a host of charges, including the killing of protesters in 2011.
His three-decade autocratic rule ended in 2011 after a violent revolt that triggered the so-called Arab Spring in the region.