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Egyptian presidential candidate asserts sovereignty over Halayeb region


May 12, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The main contender in Egypt’s upcoming presidential race has asserted his country sovereignty over the border triangle region of Halayeb, which Sudan also claims.

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Egypt’s Army Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a meeting with Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour, Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not pictured) at El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo, November 14, 2013 (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

In an interview with Sky News Arabia broadcasted today, the former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi underscored that Sudan as well as Libya are the "strategic depth" of Egypt when asked about the issue of Halayeb.

"There is no difference that has no solution as Libya and Sudan are strategic depth to Egypt and we are keen on relations with them’," said the candidate who is widely expected to win the elections later this month.

"There is no reason why we cannot reach an understanding with them as dialogue and communication forms the climate and platform for understanding and positive work," El-Sissi said.

He also issued a veiled warning to Sudan over the issue of Halayeb.

"Halayeb is Egyptian and there is no problem at all, unless there is someone who wants to create a problem. We do not incite problems with anybody and I wish no one seeks to create problems with us’’ said al-Sisi who deposed the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi from Egypt’s presidency almost a year ago after massive anti-government demonstrations.

Morsi’s ouster privately angered the Islamist government in Khartoum but it nonetheless refrained from making its views on the matter public and insisted that it is an internal matter.

Relations between Cairo and Khartoum have taken a downward spiral, particularly after Sudan announced its strong support of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Egypt fears that the $4.6 billion hydropower plant will diminish its share of the river’s water flows, arguing its historic water rights must be maintained in line with the 1929 and 1959 colonial agreements.

Sudanese officials accuse Egyptian media of seeking to provoke their government against Khartoum in light of this position.

Many Egyptian politicians and observers and have expressed fury over Sudan’s stance with some going as far as calling Khartoum an "ingrate" and "treacherous".

The media in Egypt have suggested that Khartoum is providing refuge and support to fugitive Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood figures.

Some commentators have speculated that Khartoum wants to use the dam issue as a bargaining chip to claim back Halayeb which has been under Egyptian control since the 1990s.

The genesis of the disputes over Halayeb 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.

Egypt brushed aside Sudan’s repeated calls for referring the dispute to international arbitration.


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  • 13 May 2014 05:47, by South South

    Sudan can only one thing, crying like a baby.

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    • 13 May 2014 07:19, by Big Boy

      Wow NCP
      Halayeb will not be like abyei, front of anyone in Khartoum halayeb will go to Egypt..and focus to abyei ha ah ah ah ha ha ha..cowards peoples like Dr:food-lover Riak and with their militian

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      • 13 May 2014 09:49, by Northern Sudanese

        when you speak about Egypt we are speaking about the largest armed forces in the middle east and africa.the biggest air force and biggest number of soldiers.considering that we still have internal conflict, we don’t have the capacity for them now. we first finish the easy jobs like you guys and turn to the big ones. however, remind me about what happened to the Illemi Triangle which Kenya took lol

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        • 13 May 2014 09:54, by Northern Sudanese

          you weak pussies who lead a small rebel faction of machar take control of 3 states within weeks of rebellion and let kenya which has an airforce weaker than uganda’s take you illemi triangle and your president never even dared to claim it back.....
          Halayeb will sooner or later be back, sudanese army already exists in halayeb. the region is disputed with egypt, not owned by egypt and never will.

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          • 13 May 2014 16:49, by Rommel

            Northern Sudanese:
            You do realise that Kenya didn’t take the Ilemi triangle recently? It took the Ilemi triangle when we were under Khartoum’s authority. And we didn’t react for the same reason that you didn’t... we were at war.

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            • 13 May 2014 16:55, by Rommel

              As for the progress Machar made at the star at the war... Kiir made the mistake of integrating tens of thousands of Khartoum’s former tribal militamen into the SPLA; to the extent that they greatly outnumbered the men that actually fought against Khartoum during the war.

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              • 13 May 2014 17:19, by Rommel

                The people who actually fought the war against Khartoum largely went home in 2006 — the same year that Matip came back with around 50, 000 troops. We’ve recently taken control of the rebel strong hold. When are you going to take Kauda!? It’s been three [3] years.

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                • 13 May 2014 17:53, by Rommel

                  With regards to your continued military presence in the Halayeb triangle, the numbers must be so inconsequential that the Egyptians don’t at all see the point in taking action against you, and that was probably something that you took into consideration. The Egyptians are being graceful in allowing you to stay in the triangle.

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                  • 13 May 2014 18:05, by Rommel

                    Halayeb does belong to you, and I sincerely hope that you take it back, but for that to happen, Sudan would have to become significantly stronger than it is now. You would have to become economically ten [10] times stronger at the very least to undertake any such effort to reclaim Halayeb.

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                    • 13 May 2014 18:12, by Rommel

                      I really do wish that Sudan Tribune allowed us to edit our posts within the space of ten minutes. We can’t make corrections in spelling and grammar. In my haste, I made a grammatical mistake, but Sudan Tribune won’t allow me to go back and fix that. This totally sucks.

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                    • 13 May 2014 18:38, by Northern Sudanese

                      thank you and that is exactly what I meant, Sudan at the moment is in crisis and doesn’t have the capacity to be a challenge for egypt. egypt has the largest army in africa and the middle east. If sudan was stable and gains economic liberty and freedom from debts and sanctions it could take just a decade to built a huge army. but we have dumb leaders and an even dumber opposition.

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                  • 13 May 2014 18:34, by Northern Sudanese

                    so the access of the sudanese army is limited? if egypt believed that halaiib belonged to it then it wouldn’t allow 1 soldier to step foot in halaiib. first time I hear a country allowing foreign soldiers on its territory. the fact that the sudanese soldiers are there presents the fact that we never left it for egypt.

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            • 13 May 2014 18:32, by Northern Sudanese

              Egypt took Halaiib triangle at a time when Sudan was economically dead in the mid 90’s + at a time when we were spending all the money on SPLA in the south. Kenya even though has a weak army it managed to take the illime triangle because the sudanese army was too busy fighting SPLA. is if there was no war in the south, kenya would not have taken it.

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    • 13 May 2014 07:34, by Adodi Jotuwa

      South Sudan,
      Sudan’s response would read like what is put in the content here that "Sudanese officials accuse Egyptian media of seeking to provoke their government against Khartoum in light of this position." Sudan will never attempt to fly Antonov Bomber over Halayib as it’s doing in Abyei. With the current border line, Halayib looks nice inside Egypt.

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      • 13 May 2014 07:50, by Adodi Jotuwa

        Sudan will never attempt to fly Antonov Bomber over Halayib as it’s doing in Abyei. With the current border line and the residents, Halayib looks nice inside Egypt. Dinka Ngok do not look nice inside South Kordofan because they are not nomadic like Messeriya who speak different language. Messeriya have their likes in the North while Dinka Ngok are typically Junubin.

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  • 13 May 2014 08:52, by Jalaby

    HAHAHAHA .. this man called Sisi is so funny!!
    Sisi is Israeli-American made and he is a very good example for corrupted leader who came to power through a coup and tank and ocean of blood, he knows nothing about politics,economy,administration,etc.. the guy is unqualified to lead small battalion let a lone being the Egypt president!

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    • 13 May 2014 09:10, by Jalaby

      It’s the first time ever in human history that a judge sentenced peaceful demonstrators with a death penalty .. that only happens in Egypt under this idiot man called Sisi, the prisons in Egypt are full and overloaded by journalists,women,ladies,kids,elders,..just because they said NO to the coup!!

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      • 13 May 2014 09:20, by Jalaby

        The human right in Egypt is slayed during the day light in front of the whole world, no free media, no free opinion, no fair judiciary system, no fair trial, no democracy but a completely an ugly dictatorship that kills demonstrators on a daily basis..where are the western governments who always brag, lecture and prompt us about democracy and human right?!

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        • 13 May 2014 09:28, by Jalaby

          I told you those guys are hypocrites and only seek what interest them, they don’t care about democracy in Egypt, middle east and Egypt are nothing to them but the security of Israel comes first and that what really interest them in the whole region, they look at Egypt through Camp David agreement and let Egyptians go to hell!!

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          • 13 May 2014 09:34, by Jalaby

            Mr. Sisi, you better learn the lesson from Shah Iran who was an American agent in the region but they turned their back on him when his people revolted and overthrew him, learn the lesson from Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani president, he came to power through a coup with American and the west bless and overthrew an elected and democratic regime in

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            • 13 May 2014 09:43, by Jalaby

              Pakistan exactly like you Sisi and did what Americans and the west had asked him to do without any delay but America turned its back on him when he became expired and useless to them, the democracy came back again to Pakistan and now Musharraf is facing the treason charge!!
              Learn the lesson from Turkish high commanders and army generals who hired themselves as the

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              • 13 May 2014 10:02, by Jalaby

                secular system protectors in Turkey and spoiled the democracy and made coups every time when it didn’t go the way they wish but look at Turkey now, where are the army generals? the democracy system has won and the military system has lost because the will of the nations can’t be beaten and for sure will eventually win and succeed!

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                • 13 May 2014 10:11, by Jalaby

                  Mr. Sisi, your days are numbered and Americans and the west will throw you to garbage box when Egyptians overthrow you and you become useless to the west, France didn’t even allow former Tunisian president Ben Ali to come to them when his people overthrew him and they said to him Sorry..we have no room for you despite he was their trusted agent for so long!

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                  • 13 May 2014 10:18, by Jalaby

                    I predict Sisi will escape to Saudi Arabia when Egyptians overthrow him because America and the west will refuse to have him in their countries, he will join former Tunisian president Ben Ali and former Yemeni president Abdalla Salih, I believe Saudi Arabia will be the wonderful junk place for corrupted and escapees Arab dictators presidents!!

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  • 13 May 2014 12:05, by Majongdit

    Jalaby and Northern Sudanese,
    There is nothing in what is called Illemi triangle. It is a small bare ground. Kenya is our friend.
    You want to take time and then take back Halayb sooner or later.
    The South is only 3 yrs old, it needs to stabilize and Abyei would come here sooner or later.
    The North is not our problem; our problem is us, ourselves.

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    • 13 May 2014 13:03, by Jalaby

      I really appreciate your honesty and admitted that Arab/Jalaba are never your problem put you guys are the real problem of yourselves, in other words, the enemy of yourself and that what I was saying all the time till I got sore throat!!
      I wish all Junobean are so honest like you and confess they are the enemy of their owns!!

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    • 13 May 2014 18:29, by Northern Sudanese

      halaib triangle is nothing but a sand wasteland but the reason why we claim it is for our pride and sovereignty. its resources are nothing compared to the rest of Sudan. we can say the same thing about egypt being our friend but that doesn’t deny the fact that they stole our land at a time when we were economically dead in the mid 90’s. they were supposed to be our allies but no

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