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Sudan’s defence minister flying to Cairo for talks on border security

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February 3, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese Defence Minister Gen. Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein will hold talks on Tuesday with his Egyptian counterpart, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sissi on border security, gold miners and infiltration.

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Sudanese defence minister Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein (REUTERS)

This is the first visit by a senior Sudanese official to Cairo since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi last year.

Hussein is also subject to an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in March 2012 on 13 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.

Egypt however, is not a signatory to the court’s treaty and theoretically has no obligation to apprehend him.

Yesterday, the head of the Egyptian al-Wafd Party Sayed al-Badawi revealed on that Cairo and Khartoum agreed to deploy joint military patrols on the borders to curb the arms smuggling.

Press reports in Khartoum stated that foreign minister Ali Karti will also visit Cairo next week for discussions on the four freedoms pact, Nile waters and joint roads.

Sudan’s Islamist government has appeared uncomfortable with the developments in Egypt given the common ideology they shared with Morsi and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) which brought him to power.

However, Khartoum insisted that it is neutral to the change in Egypt and that it is an internal matter.

Furthermore, Cairo was irked by Khartoum’s support of Ethiopia’s plan to build the Renaissance dam which Egypt argues will impact its Nile water share needed for its population of 90 million.

The issue of the disputed border region of Halayeb flared up with officials in Khartoum asserting that it is a Sudanese territory despite Egyptian "occupation" of it.

(ST)

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