Egypt / by Alistair Galloway

Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab officially submitted his cabinet’s resignation over corruption allegations. A new cabinet was formed on the 19 September, but due to the corruption scandal involving several former ministers – notably the former Agricultural Minster, Selah Eddin Helal – President al-Sisi will have to take a firm stance when tackling such serious allegations in order to preserve his own legitimacy and to ensure the Egyptian public's trust in the government. Egypt also signed a deal with France to buy two Mistral warships, which were previously destined for Russia. The new warships, which Egypt will receive in March 2016, will enhance the country’s physical military presence and will deter the ongoing threat the state faces from militants. Egyptian military forces flooded illegal smuggling tunnels, which lead to Gaza, in the Sinai Province. The flooding was part of the plan to create a buffer zone in the region in order to reduce the threat faced from insurgents, who travel between the Sinai Province and Gaza. However, it is unlikely that any immediate reduction in militant activity will be evident. Protests took place in Cairo in a backlash against high unemployment rates and low wage growth. The frustration and anger among Egyptian people will need to be addressed through economic reforms, part of which is the value-added tax al-Sisi is hoping to implement in the economy.