Sudanese authorities on Monday said they have “right of sovereignty” on two disputed border territories at the edge of the Red Sea controlled by Egypt.
There has been an old dispute between the two neighboring countries, over the region. Sudan had opposed Egypt’s continued control of the area arguing that the two communities, Halaib and Chalatin have been an integral part of Sudan since 1950s.
Sudan had increased its claim since April while Egypt had recently agreed to surrender the two islands to Saudi Arabia, a decision which has generated wild protests in the streets of the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
We have adopted policy measures and judicial proceedings to assert our rights in the triangle of Halaib.
Sudan Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Gandour said they are not going to abandon their right of sovereignty on the triangle of Halaib.
“We have adopted policy measures and judicial proceedings to assert our rights in the triangle of Halaib,” he said.
Gandour also indicated that Sudan was seeking to obtain a copy of the agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia on the reconveyance of the uninhabited island of Tiran and Sanafir off the coast of Sinai Peninsula.
“We need to measure the impact of this agreement on our maritime boundaries,” he added.
After their subsequent partition, Sudan believes the region more appropriately should fall within its territory.
On January 19, 1899, Egypt and Britain signed the Sudan Convention. The first article in that agreement stated that “the word ‘Sudan’ refers to all the territories south of the 22nd parallel of latitude”.
In 1956, when Egypt recognized Sudan’s independence, the 22nd parallel of latitude as stated in the Sudan Convention was the agreed upon border between Egypt and Sudan.
Later amendments to the borders aimed at keeping Nubian tribes unified under one administrative system have caused the core dispute between both countries.
The Egyptian position is largely aimed at facilitating ease for the Nubian tribes living along the border region by uniting them under one administration.