Dabaa residents celebrate as nuclear reactor handed back from military

Tribesmen in Dabaa are celebrating the return of a nuclear plant from military ownership, from a plot that stretches some 55 kilometres along the coast.

Locals in Matrouh and Dabaa performed Bedouin shows while military music was played. Military figures from the northern military command were said to have participated.

In an earlier statement, Dabaa residents expressed confidence that the Egyptian military would come good on a promise to return the 55-kilometre area to the locals.

Reconciliation between police, residents and military intelligence took place. The residents also handed over Dabaa police station after renovating and re-opening it.

In 1986, the Egyptian reactor tender was postponed due to the Chernobyl disaster, when a nuclear meltdown spread radioactive materials across Europe from the Soviet Union. Gamal Mubarak, son of deposed President Hosni Mubarak, announced during a 2006 conference hosted by the since-dissolved National Democratic Party that the Dabaa nuclear program would be re-launched.

In 2010, Mubarak decided to offer the project up to international bidders before January 2011.

The project was then postponed in 2012. Authorities said they were waiting for a parliament and president to be elected.

In the same year, Dabaa residents attacked the site several times. Several pieces of equipment were stolen.