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Sudanese army rotating units in disputed border region of Halayeb: reports

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May 5, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The 101st Port Sudan Marine division celebrated the rotation of troops stationed in Halayeb, state’s official news agency (SUNA) reported today.

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Red Sea state governor Mohammed Tahir Eila addressed the occasion and praised the army’s role in protecting the country and enforcing Sudan’s sovereignty over its territories.

Eila stressed that the presence of the army in Halayeb is an expression of sovereignty over this Sudanese region.

Maj. Gen. Abdul-Magid Bilal, naval commander of the 101st Port Sudan Marine division, also hailed the steadfastness of the troops stationed in Halayeb.

The Halayeb triangle that overlooks the Red Sea has been contentious issue between Egypt and Sudan since 1958, shortly after Sudan gained independence from British-Egyptian rule.

The area has been under Cairo’s full military control since the mid-1990’s after a Sudanese backed attempt on former Egyptian president Mohamed Hosni Mubarak’s life. Egypt brushed aside Sudan’s repeated calls for referring the dispute to international arbitration.

Last February, the Egyptian government issued a decree turning Halayeb into a city that encompasses the villages of Abu-Ramad and Ras-Hedreba.

It is therefore not clear how Sudanese troops have made it inside the region.

In June 2011, the Red Sea governor announced that president Omer Hassan al-Bashir will inaugurate developmental projects in Halayeb during his tour of the Red Sea state.

But Sudan’s foreign minister Ali Karti afterwards denied that Bashir has any such plans adding that he will only visit the city of Ouseif which is outside the Halayeb triangle.

He accused that the Sudanese media of “mishandling” the report and likewise said the Egyptian media responded in an unwise manner.

(ST)

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