Sudan recalls its ambassador from Egypt amid tensions

Sudan on map
Sudan on map

Sudan has recalled its ambassador from neighboring Egypt for consultations, the foreign ministry said, without giving details on why or how long he would stay.

Egypt’s foreign ministry said it was evaluating the situation in order to take “appropriate action”.

Relations have been soured by disputes over the ownership of the Halayeb  Triangle border area, and over the use of the water from the River Nile that passes through their territories.

Sudan has accused Cairo of political meddling and banned imports of Egyptian agricultural products in 2017.

NAN reports that Halayeb and Shalateen, also known as Halayeb triangle, covers an area of 7,945 square miles (20,580 square km) and is a border area that has been an issue of contention since the late 19th century.

In 1899, when Britain occupied Egypt and Sudan, the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium Agreement for Sudan set the political boundary between the territories at the 22nd parallel, placing the Halayeb triangle inside Egyptian borders.

In 1902, the British drew a separate “administrative boundary” that placed the Halayeb triangle under Sudanese administration because its inhabitants were closer to Khartoum than Cairo.

The Halayeb triangle includes the three main towns of Halayeb, Abu Ramad and Shalatin, stretches.

The area remained under Egyptian-Sudanese joint control until the dispute resurfaced in 1992, when Sudan allowed a Canadian oil company to search for oil in the waters off Halayeb.

Negotiations began, but the company pulled out of the deal until sovereignty was settled.

Every now and then Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir makes a statement that Halayeb triangle is sovereign Sudanese land.

Bashir had threatened to resort to the UN Security Council if Egypt refuses to negotiate over the Halayeb triangle.

In October 2017, Sudan once again lodged a complaint to the UN Security Council over the disputed area of the Halayeb triangle with Egypt.

Also in April, Cairo refused a demand by the Sudanese government to hold direct talks on Halayeb and Shalateen, 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.


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