Khartoum requests international arbitration over Halayeb; Cairo dismisses news


Khartoum submitted an official request to Cairo to refer the Halayeb triangle issue to international arbitration, according to a Sudanese official.  An Egyptian diplomatic source, however, dismissed the news, saying Egypt’s position on this matter is conclusive and final. Both countries claim ownership of the land on the Red Sea’s African coast.

The same Sudanese official said that Omar el-Bashir’s recent statement, in which he reiterated Sudan’s sovereignty over Halayeb, is the result of the Sudanese opposition pressure on el-Bashir since the presidential election. The opposition accused el-Bashir of not taking the issue seriously enough.

The Sudanese official told Al-Masry Al-Youm that when el-Bashir visited Port Sudan, Sudan’s main port city on the Red Sea, he was received by members of the opposition carrying banners that read “Halayeb is Sudanese.”

The official added that Khartoum has submitted an official request to Cairo to submit the Halayeb issue to international arbitration, but that Cairo has not replied.

Meanwhile, an Egyptian diplomatic source said he has not received any such request, adding that Halayeb is Egyptian land, and dismissing el-Bashir’s territorial claims.

The same official said that Sudan has threatened to freeze its membership of the Nile Basin Initiative to pressure upstream countries to review their position.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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