Middle East roundup: The Rabaa massacre remembered

Ten years since the massacre in Egypt, dozens killed in Libya – this is what happened in the Middle East this week.

child amputees in Gaza
Juri Abu Taima, eight, cools off in a pool during the al-Qudra summer camp for amputee children in the Gaza Strip [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]

Ten years since one of the worst massacres of protesters in modern history | One million civilians have fled Sudan | Fighting in Libya kills dozens of people. Here’s the Middle East this week.

‘I saw so many bodies that day’: 10 years since Rabaa

It happened in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya Square: One of the worst massacres of protesters in recent history.

In 2013, thousands of people staged sit-ins to protest against a military coup that overthrew Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Many were supporters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, a group loved and hated equally in Egypt.

At 6am on August 14, 2013, security forces began a brutal crackdown. Amr Hashad was there and told Al Jazeera the horrors he saw. Military helicopters hovering, armoured vehicles blocking escapes, snipers on rooftops picking people off.

Human Rights Watch documented at least 900 protesters killed in Rabaa and at another sit-in at al-Nahda Square. Others say even more died. To compare, estimates suggest 400 to 1,000 people were killed in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

The Muslim Brotherhood has since been weakened. Our author says the group is going through an identity crisis, a legitimacy crisis and a membership crisis. Can it recover?

Sudan’s war and the weapon being used against its women

The conflict in Sudan has trapped countless women who are being sexually assaulted in a country with little to no resources to help them. Here are some of the harrowing testimonies of survivors and the civilians dedicated to helping them.

After four months of war, Sudan’s military leadership seems to be sending mixed messages.

The head of the army, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, this week accused the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces of war crimes while his deputy, Malik Agar, went in another direction, saying a negotiated settlement was inevitable.

No talks are currently being held between the two sides as fighting rages in the capital, Khartoum, and the Darfur region. The UN says more than 1 million people have fled to other countries.

A green truck of RSF soldiers whooping and cheering
Image grab taken from handout video released by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces on April 23, 2023, shows fighters on a truck mounted with a machine gun in the East Nile district of Khartoum [RSF/AFP]

Armed groups square off in Libya’s capital

Libya has been relatively quiet, but it remains a country with competing administrations, countless armed groups and no signs of a plan for a unified government.

This week, the commander of one of the groups was detained by another, which led to a flare-up in fighting in the capital, Tripoli.

The two armed groups fought for 24 hours, killing at least 55 people, injuring dozens and displacing thousands of civilians. The shooting ended soon after the commander’s release.

And now, something different

It’s been a hot summer, so time at the pool is particularly refreshing for children attending al-Qudra summer camp in the Gaza Strip. The camp is designed for children who are amputees or born without fully formed limbs. “Children with amputated limbs … need spaces and activities tailored to them in order to make them feel included,” camp organiser Hadil al-Saqqa said.

child amputees in Gaza
Two friends, Sherif al-Namla and Muhammad Rayan, support each other at a swimming pool at Al-Qudra camp [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]


Quote of the Week

“You have to do it. You have to. … Europe is the land of opportunity.” | Mohammed Sowe, a Gambian man after two failed attempts to reach Europe from Tunisia by boat.

The medina in the Tunisian port of Sfax, where many refugees set out on dangerous boat journeys to Europe [Simon Speakman Cordall/Al Jazeera]
Source: Al Jazeera