Sudan reiterates sovereign rights over Halayeb border with Egypt

Monday May 2 2016

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour. PHOTO | AFP

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour. PHOTO | AFP 


Sudan insisted on Monday it had "sovereign rights" over two border territories whose ownership has been the subject of a long-standing dispute between Cairo and Khartoum.

Sudan has regularly protested at Egypt's administration of Halayeb and Shalatin near the Red Sea, saying they are part of its sovereign territory since shortly after independence in 1956.

Since April, Khartoum has stepped up its claim to the territories after Egypt transferred two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia in a move that triggered street protests in Cairo.

"We will not let go of our sovereign rights on the Halayeb triangle," Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour told parliament on Monday.

"We have adopted legal and political measures to assert our rights in the Halayeb triangle."

Ghandour said Khartoum was also trying to get a copy of the agreement between Cairo and Riyadh on the transfer of the two islands in the Straits of Tiran.

"We need to gauge the impact of this agreement on our maritime borders," he told lawmakers.

Cairo's transfer of the two islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia became a key factor behind street protests in the Egyptian capital last month.

More than 1,000 demonstrators rallied on April 15 in Cairo demanding "the fall of the regime" in the largest challenge to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's regime in two years.