Sudan to eliminate Egyptian presence in Halayeb: Sudan Tribune

The Paris-based Sudan Tribune website said Monday that Sudan will develop a roadmap to eliminate Egypt’s presence in the Halayeb triangle area.

The head of Sudan’s Technical Committee for Border Demarcation (TCBD), Abdallah al-Sadiq said that the Sudanese foreign ministry has instructed the concerned bodies to devise this roadmap, according to Sudan Tribune.

Sadiq claimed that officials from the foreign, justice and interior ministries, the National Records Office and the TCBD have met in order to modify files prepared by previous committees on Halai’b.

In the same context, Sadiq also said to the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) that a committee, which includes all the concerned bodies, has been formed to decide on Halai’b triangle issue.

He said, “The committee held a preparatory meeting to develop guidelines and a road map to explore ways to evict the Egyptians from the area [Halayeb] through diplomacy.”

He also stressed that Khartoum has documentation which clearly proves that Halai’b is a Sudanese territory.

The move came within weeks after in an extensive interview with the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV network with the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir where he has accused the Egyptian intelligence of supporting Sudan’s opposition forces, and he promised to take Halayeb and Shalateen border dispute between the two neighbors to the United Nations Security Council if negotiations failed.

Last January, a Sudanese diplomatic source said that his country renewed its compliant against Egypt in the UN Security Council to reconsider the borders between both countries, referring to Halayeb and Shalateen area.

It is worth to mention Sudan lodged a complaint to the United Nation Security Council over the disputed area in October 2016.

Al-Khartoum has called Cairo for direct negotiations regrading Halai’b and Shalateen case similar to what has been implemented with Saudi Arabia regarding Tiran and Sanafir islands that the Egyptian government has announced that they belong to Saudi Arabia last April during King Salman’s visit to Egypt.

However, Cairo refused a demand by the Sudanese government to hold direct talks on Halai’b and Shalateen last April, or to accept the referral of the dispute to the International Court of Arbitration .

International law stipulates that the two parties must agree to arbitrate a dispute by the tribunal.

On the other hand, members of Parliament responded harshly and condemned Sadiq’s comments.

The Egyptian MP Hatem Bashat said the remarks are irresponsible, adding that Sudan is bullying Egypt with possible influence from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as officials from the two countries visited Khartoum recently -a sign that Sudan may make bold decisions.

In addition, MP Tariq al-Khouli said the issue was raised after the visit of Sheikha Moza bint Nasser to Sudan, explaining that she may be behind the move due to the Qatari regime’s hatred of Egypt.

On the diplomatic level, Egypt and Sudan are scheduled to hold discussions in Khartoum in the first two weeks of April, according to a released Egypt’s Foreign Ministry.

The statement read that Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry and his Sudanese counterpart Ibrahim Ghandour expressed in a phone conversation their “full rejection of unacceptable transgressions or insults between the two brotherly countries.”

The Halayeb triangle, which is a 20,580-km area on the Red Sea, has been a disputable issue between Egypt and Sudan since 1958, shortly after Sudan gained its independence from the British-Egyptian rule in January 1956.

Since the mid-1990’s, the area has been under Cairo’s full military control.