Egypt today announced the construction of 100 integrated housing units for the people of the country’s southern disputed Halayeb region.
The announcement was made during a meeting that was held by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi with the director of the country’s General Intelligence Directorate (GIS), Khaled Fawzy, and the Egyptian religious endowment minister, Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa.
According to a statement by the Egyptian presidency, the meeting discussed “ways to maximise the utilisation of the ministry’s assets and lands.”
Gomaa said that the residential project aims at “supporting the needy Egyptians.”
On Thursday, the Egyptian foreign ministry sought the United Nations (UN)’s intervention to resolve the Egyptian-Sudanese dispute over the border towns of Halayeb and Shalateen, rejecting what it described as “Sudan’s allegations of possessing the two towns.”
Halayeb and Shalateen, also known as the Halayeb triangle, is a border area that has been an issue of contention between Egypt and Sudan since the late 19th century. Both countries believe the areas belong to them.
In October, the Sudanese foreign minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, called for “direct negotiations or international arbitration” to resolve the dispute between the two countries.
Sudan has been seeking the UN Security Council’s arbitration every year. In order for an international arbitration to be carried out, the two parties involved have to accept the request, a move which Egypt rejects.
Sudan and Egypt have been experiencing strained over several issues. Egypt accuses Sudan of supporting the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam which Cairo fears will adversely affect its share of Nile water.
Meanwhile, Khartoum accuses Cairo of supporting Sudanese rebels who oppose the rule of President Omar Al- Bashir.