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Egypt bars Sudanese official from entering disputed border region: report

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December 9, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – The Egyptian authorities banned the Sudanese presidential assistant Musa Mohamed Ahmed from entering the disputed border region of Halayeb, Sudanese media reported today.

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Sudanese presidential assistant Musa Mohamed Ahmed (Al-Raed newspaper)

Ahmed told the independent Al-Sahafa newspaper that the purpose of his visit is to “assert the sovereignty over the [Halayeb] triangle and inspect the situation of the people and provide moral and financial support to the members of the Sudanese army unit trapped inside since the [Egyptian] occupation began”.

This is the first time Sudan reveals the presence of Sudanese army personnel inside the Red Sea border area which Cairo moved to assert control over in the mid-nineties.

The Sudanese official stressed that the area Halayeb is Sudanese and cannot be forsaken “under any circumstances”.

He said that Egyptian border patrols prevented him from entering by closing the main gate despite their knowledge of his planned visit.

Two Sudanese parliamentarians representing the region said that this is not the first time an incident like this happens to an official adding that it was meant to undermine the “dignity of the state”.

The issue of Halayeb came to surface last October when the Sudanese electoral commission took a surprise decision and announced that the residents of Halayeb will be allowed to register as voters in the elections saying that they are Sudanese citizens with constitutional rights under the color of law.

However, Egypt informally objected to the decision and conveyed messages to the Sudanese government saying the matter is a “red line” given Cairo’s long standing assertions that the area is part of its territory.

A few weeks later the Sudanese presidential adviser Mustafa Ismail visited Cairo and downplayed the dispute saying that the electoral commission did not consult with the government before making its decision.

The Beja Congress, a political group comprised mainly of ethnic tribes in Eastern Sudan and headed by Musa Mohamed Ahmed, is pressing Khartoum to take action on the dispute with Egypt up to and including resorting to international arbitration.

However, many observers say that Khartoum is reluctant on bringing up the issue with Egypt as it seeks the latter’s political backing particularly with regards to the row with the International Criminal Court (ICC) which issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

The Halayeb triangle that overlooks the Red Sea has been a source of tension between the two countries as early as 1958, shortly after Sudan gained independence from British-Egyptian rule.

The border issue was laid to rest until the 1990’s when relations between the two countries worsened over accusations that Sudan is harboring Islamic militant groups seeking to overthrow the Egyptian regime.

A failed attempt on the life of the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was blamed on Khartoum after which Cairo assumed full control over the area.

(ST)

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  • 10 December 2009 06:21, by Kur

    Why are they not fighting the Egyptians? It is absurd for armed soldiers to live under occupation. They have to either surrender or fight the Egyptians. The Sudanese army fights only the Sudanese but not those who occupy the Sudanese land. Coward evils.

    Kur

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    • 10 December 2009 06:54, by DASODIKO

      I am very sorry for you the people of Eastern Sudan. But it was your fault when you have decided that you are Arabs. Unfortunately they accepted you because they wanted your resources. But still you ahve a time to come back to your brothers Africans they forgive you and protect you if you seriously come back home. However; if you persist that you are Arabs then they are going to swallow you as they took your three areas.

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    • 10 December 2009 10:01, by Kat-el naar

      the Sudanese in general will now know their president is a cowardice one. i thought he will go and get the area back by force from Egyptian. what a shame and pathetic president, he really let down the brave people of Sudan. shame on you criminal. Sudanese people will not protect you from ICC because you are really useless, are only there to consume the nations’ resources and kill the people, that’s what you have been known for. i am 100% sure you will soon be hang like snack by ICC.

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  • 10 December 2009 06:55, by Lual Garang De Lual

    It is very interesting to learn that Al Bashire is selling Sudan territories for his immunity from prosecution. He thinks that Egypt will oust him if he challenges them.

    Mr. Oshay see how fearful is your father to give away a Sudan territories while he always blame the west for hidden agenda of regime change. What is now happening that a well known area by international community as part of Sudan is now occupied by sovereign state claiming it to be their while the very president who claimed to be is sitting back.
    I laugh when i see this frighten fugitive playing with our sovereign teeritories for his protection from Egypt.

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  • 10 December 2009 07:49, by Sudan virus

    Wadihalfa,Halayeb and Port Sudan are all areas belonging to Egypt during the British Egyptian rule in Sudan.

    It was at the independence time that port Sudan was officially offered to Sudan.

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    • 10 December 2009 08:04, by Abyei

      Dear Sudan Virus
      Actually if you do’nt know Gegoraphic of Sudan, please don’t bother your self to shine at this web that Port Sudan was a part of Egyptian before got an independent 1956. hush hush!!! othwise you will be know place to hide.

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  • 10 December 2009 10:08, by David_N

    The best way is that Egypt should give back Halayeb triangle to Sudan, since that territory never belongs to ancient Egyptian Pharaonic era, yet, Egypt has right to take back all the way south towards 300 miles North from Khartoum, which belongs to Nubian peoples of Ancient Kush of Pharaonic era.
    So, Nubians belongs to Egypt, but Bejas are not, they are Ethiopians, so give back Halayeb to Africans.

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    • 10 December 2009 19:22, by David_N

      The Egypt to take back Halayeb triangle must sent Beja African back to Sudan, and it’s geographical territory belongs to the peoples of Egypt, but not that Beja Afro tribes, so sent them back to Sudan, instead take back NOBIIN peoples back to Egypt.

      The Egypt and Kush should be ONE!

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  • 10 December 2009 10:19, by Time1

    Sudanese just forget about Halayeb, the NCP in a secret conspiracy meeting has awarded the territory to Egypt and in return they Egyptian president promise to support the NCP president Omer bashir against all charges or arrests by ICC.

    Forget Halayeb it has been sold by the coward war criminal leader Omer bashir.

    The only way to recover Halayeb will be through resistance Front, any other options will not work with the Egyptians,

    Why do you people think NCP is quite about the issue? because of the secret deal which awards the territory to Egypt without any resistances.

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    • 10 December 2009 10:28, by Time1

      Shoult Sudanese land be sacrificed in order to save a selfish and war criminals like Omer bashir? this is a question Sudanese in general should ask themselves, Sudanese army soldiers are leaving under occupation from foreign Egyptiasn army, and until now the NCP government has not said a single word, Sudanese land is occupied ,meanwhile the governemnt is always very fast to fight and kill its fellow Sudanese.

      Where is this country really heading under this coward Leadership? Where is the proclaim dignity of Sudan?

      Where is Gatwech, Mohammed ali and Logic boy, why are you people hiding your tails between your legs here.

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      • 10 December 2009 15:44, by Revelator

        Beshir is brave when it comes to killing innocent women and children inside sudan but utterly chicken when confronted by foreign countries such as Chad and Egypt. Don’t be fooled by his crimes, Murderers like him are cowards they only know how to manipulate others to do the dirty work for them.

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        • 11 December 2009 21:05, by mack waweru

          northern Sudan armed forces have never and never ever will it face up to any foreign agression,or occupation that can undermine the sovereignity of Sudan, but only slaughter their citizens. What is the duty of the armed forces in any nation state? What matters more, Abyei or Halayeb? Shame to this cancerous system.

          Mack Awer

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  • 5 January 2010 06:31, by Esperantisto

    As a simple man of a disputed border region in Central Europe, it’s very obvious that I support Sudan and its people in every way. I had the great opportunity to visit the Triangle and its loveable people 5 years ago, and I said to everyone: I was in Sudan, not in Egypt. The Triangle was/is/will be an integral part of Sudan and I was happy to see trucks and houses wearing Sudanese flags, when I was there.

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    • 13 January 2010 05:08, by abdelhamidelsayed

      To every one willing to post here about this article , i kindly ask to read the history of this area which begun by the 1899 border agreement between Egypt and the United Kingdom which affirmed that the borders between Egypt and Sudan run along the 22 degree north parallel of latitude.
      Before that date the whole Sudan was under the control of Egypt.
      According to 1899 borders agreement , the area of the Halayeb triangle is Egyptian and Egypt presently controls the territories north of the 22 degree north parallel of latitude and as the international law allow all the countries to deny entry to its borders to some individuals , Egypt lawfully denied the entry to a man whose intentions were just political stunt to divert the attention from more critical peoblems facing Sudan.
      Egypt does not need a piece of land to support a disgraced president , Egypt actions are priceles.

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