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Sudan official demands Egypt to vacate Halayeb “immediately”


February 17, 2011 (NAIROBI) – A senior official in President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir’s government has demanded that the Egyptian army “immediately” cede control of the Halayeb areas on Sudan’s northern border. The statement brings back to the fore the longstanding territorial dispute over the border region between Sudan and Egypt.

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Sudan’s Presidential Aide Musa Mohamed Ahmad

The Egyptian army seized control of Halayeb region, which occupies an area of land measuring 20,580 square km in the border areas of the Red Sea coast, after relations between the two neighbors plummeted due to the 1995’s failed attempt by Islamists allegedly backed by Sudan to assassinate Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa.

In an interview relayed on Wednesday by Al-Shurug Satellite TV, Sudan’s presidential aide and leader of the former eastern rebels, the Beja Congress, Musa Mohammed Ahmad called on the Egyptian army to pull out of Halayeb “immediately” so the area would not become a “bone of contention” between the neighboring nations.

Musa stressed that the issue is now easier to settle after the resignation of Mubarak whose regime Musa accused of “deliberately inciting sedition” between the two countries, expressing hope that the new Egyptian government would correct the mistakes of the old regime.

Mubarak was ousted last Friday after 18 days of public protests against his near 30-year rule. The Egyptian army say they will control the country for a six month transitional period before elections can be held in September. However, this period is open for extension.

Musa urged the high council of the Egyptian army to immediately pull out of Halayib, claiming that historical documents confirm that the area belongs to Sudan.

The official expressed support for the proposal put forward by Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to refer the issue of Halayeb to the UN Security Council (UNSC), saying that ruling on the issue would be in the favor of Sudan because the latter possesses documents confirming that “the triangle is 100% Sudanese”

Sudanese officials have long avoided raising the issue of Halayeb in public for fears of angering their Egyptian counterparts.

Sudan avoided registering voters inside Halayeb for the elections which took place last year despite earlier assertions that the region was included as a constituency.

But the issue of Halayeb flared up in July of last year when President Al-Bashir made a surprising assertion that "Halayeb is Sudanese and will stay Sudanese" while addressing a rally of his supporters at the coastal town of Port Sudan.

However, Al-Bashir’s remarks were brushed aside by Egypt’s foreign minister Ahmad Aboul-Gheit who said that "the Southern borders to Egypt are well known at latitude 22° and I see no need to further indulge in the historical backgrounds [of this subject].”

The Egyptian minister further noted that there was an agreement between Al-Bashir and his Egyptian counterpart to make Halayeb and integration and development zone.

The genesis of the disputes over Halayib dates back to as early as 1958 after Sudan gained independence from being ruled jointly by Britain and Egypt. The wrangle is a result of a discrepancy in the demarcation of political boundaries set by the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium and the ones set earlier by the British in 1902.

Cairo rejects any international arbitration over the area. This week Sudan’s foreign ministry said that the country’s complaint to the UNSC on Halayeb has been pending since 1958 and is renewed annually for consideration.


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  • 18 February 2011 09:30, by ritton65

    18/02/2011. from ritton65.
    Yes from the History of sudan Halayeb is for sudan and don’t forget that Sudan is deviding now into Two and may be into more than that so please north sudanses citizens do not allow the Northerns officials to do amistake in ABYEI resolution because in the end no body Knows Sudan may come to gather reunited again and if didn’t happen we are going to support each others as one good neighbours estates so please do the best for better future of good friendship.

    repondre message

  • 18 February 2011 11:30, by Miamangawai

    What brought Egyptians to Halayeb? Geographically and Historically, Halayeb is part of Sudan not Egypt. Please don’t let Egyptians occupied Sudan while Sudanese are still alive.

    You arabs, you know it well that occupying someone’s land is killing the person. You occupied Abyei claiming it to be part of North, but in the future during the ABC report, please surrounder it the South.

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    • 18 February 2011 12:50, by Peter Mading

      Now you see, the issue of Halayap had not gone out from Northern Sudanese minds. Egyptian had invaded the area like the arabs north invaded the land of black Africans and owned it till today.

      Now you are talking about colonial boundary demarcation as of 1902 and 1958 and quoting the History very well. In that context what can you say about Abyei which close to cuurent generation from 1905-1956: Which one is closer to each other is it one that had stayed for 54 years for Sudan to get independent from the British or 41 years?

      You shall pay bloody shed for Halayeb as well as paying for Abyei.

      Your dreams will not come true. The man who is coming up to rule Egypt is more dangerous than Hossin Mubarak. Mubarak was just a pilot- A man who survived by chance till he got that the position of presidency to rule Egyptian for 30 years but get the tough one from the ground assault background.

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  • 18 February 2011 17:00, by Deng E. Manyuon

    That is very interesting move by the NCP ! ! !


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  • 18 February 2011 17:12, by omoni Atari

    why is it now? how long has Egyptian government occupied that area? just finish Darfur problem first.
    Dont add problem on top it.

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  • 18 February 2011 21:24, by georgino

    Actually I don’t care anymore about what is going in the north. I am not a sudanese anymore I am a southern sudanese. I am a free man even I don’t care about the news in north anymore. since I am a free man from south sudan,simplly I careless about what is going on between Egypt and Sudan let them solve their on problem while we are building south Sudan. The biggest shame is that Athor is fighting because he lost in election. what kind of a person he is, killing people for no reason. by the grace of God those poor people who lost their life, God will bring justice to so call Athor. why GOSS is not doing anything since 40% of our budget goes to military, is it because Athor is Dinka or what? no one can tell me that SPLA is unable to demolish Athor is five hours, somebody need to do something. one love south sudan

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    • 19 February 2011 00:21, by Ahmed

      Since this is a North Sudan issue why are you commenting on this?? like you said why not mind your own business this has nothing to do with your country. Southern Sudanese stay off Sudan issues from now and... So you posted a whole comment to tell us that you don’t care?? why should you mind your own business

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      • 19 February 2011 05:30, by georgino

        I am just tired of this my friend I do not have any hate toward northern sudanese. What I am saying it is time for me to stay away from north problem. I am taking your advise seriously thank you Mr. Ahmed. I love and admire freedom and I am free to live now .

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  • 20 February 2011 07:59, by Jalaby

    Hello Jonobean,

    We asked Egypt to give back our land, now it is your turn Jonobean, do SPLM have enough braveness to come forward and ask Kenya officially to give back Ilemi Triangle that they took to South Sudan??!! The answer is no, Jonobean will never ask Kenya to give them back Ilemi Triangle since they plan to keep a good relation with them and export their oil through them in the future if their enemy in the north shut down the pipeline or they decided not to go through north, Jonobean have to sacrifice Ilemi Triangle anyway despite it is full of valuable resources!!

    Good luck Jonobean.

    Jalaby (Abo Tagia)

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