Two days after the foreign ministers of Egypt and Sudan met and agreed to leave the Halayeb border row to be resolved by presidential talks, Sudan has included the disputed area in its deposition to the United Nation Security Council, the Daily News Egypt reported today.
The deposition is part of Sudan’s campaign to reclaim the territory which has been occupied by the Egyptian military since 1995. “The Republic of Sudan declares its rejection to recognise the provision of the declaration issued by the Arab Republic of Egypt on 9 January 1990, titled Presidential Decree No. 27, which touches on the Sudanese border, North of Line 22, which was included within the maritime coordination announced by Egypt within its maritime borders on the Red Sea in paragraphs 56-60,” read Sudan’s declaration according to the Sudan Tribune.
By virtue of the membership of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, Sudan is required to inform the UN secretary-general of any developments affecting the geography of its maritime borders.
Sudan’s armed forces have complained that they have been subjected to “provocation” from the Egyptian Army in recent weeks, adding to the tension between the two countries over the issue. Halayeb and Shalateen is a triangle of around 20 square kilometres located at the Egyptian-Sudanese boarder at the Red Sea. The conflict over the area began in 1958, following the demarcation of borders between the two countries shortly after Sudan‘s independence.
Sudan has stepped up the pressure on Egypt and has called repeatedly for the issue to be referred to the International Court of Arbitration. No decision can be made unless Egypt agrees to be bound to the court’s jurisdiction. Cairo maintains the land is Egyptian territory but has refused to allow the disagreement to be referred to the international court.
Sudan’s foreign ministry has stressed that the triangle is located within the political and geographic borders of its country, saying these borders have been recognised internationally during various historical periods including during the British-Egyptian condominium rule.
Relations between Egypt and Sudan have deteriorated since July 2013 when the democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power in a military coup led by the current President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi.