The Economist: “When Egypt investigates tragedy, don’t expect results”

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A few days after the recent Egypt Air crash, CNN ran a feature documenting the recent issues with Egyptian aviation.

The Economist “When Egypt investigates tragedy, don’t expect results”

Then yesterday, The Economist (a magazine that I try to read every week while on board) had a story about the issues with Egyptian “investigations” and not just those dealing with these airline related catastrophes.

You can access the full Economist article here of which below is an excerpt:

“Investigations take time, there is no need to rush to conclusions,” says Mr Sisi. But Egypt is developing a knack for interminable probes that lead nowhere, or that produce self-serving results. Some are reminded of EgyptAir flight 990, which crashed off the coast of America in 1999. American officials said the Egyptian pilot brought down the plane, citing ample evidence. Egypt spent millions of dollars trying to prove otherwise.

More recent examples abound. Take Egypt’s investigation into the killing of eight Mexican tourists and four Egyptian guides in the Western desert last September. There is little argument over what happened: the military hit the group with an airstrike. But Egypt’s “transparent” inquiry was undercut by a ban on reporters covering the incident, or the probe. No findings have been released, though Egyptian officials blamed a travel agency for bringing the tourists to a restricted area. On May 12th the Mexican foreign ministry expressed “surprise and dissatisfaction” at the less-than-thorough investigation.


Let’s hope that the Economist is wrong here and that the Egyptian investigation would really try to find out what happened in the most recent crash and not just what would fit best for the current government.

The tourism industry is very important for the economy both bringing currency in and employing many Egyptians. If you look at some of the discounted rates that resorts in places such as Sharm el-Sheikh charge, it is difficult to understand how they can stay in business.