Hala'ib is Sudanese and will be ever SudaneseOmar Al Bashir , the president of Sudan said so from three days ago in Port Sudan adding that he will discuss the issue of Hala'ib with the Egyptian regime. Egyptian FM Ahmed Abu El-Gait assured that Hala'ib is an Egyptian territory as our southern borders are well known to everybody latitude 22 and that it was closed issue yesterday.
From another hand an official Egyptian reaction on that has said to Al Shorouk Daily that there are attempts by some parties to create crisis in Sudan in these exceptional times.
Publicly the tribes of Hala'ib have expressed its total refusal to what Bashir has said.
The timing of this statement is interesting as it came right afterwards the bizarre statements of the new Sudanese foreign minister , Ali Karti. Egypt demanded a clarification after this statement and as far as I followed the matter we did not receive a good clarification ; the clarification actually was that statement by Al Bashir. If anyone else said these statements I would consider it an attempt to create a crack in the Egyptian-Sudanese position from the Nile river crisis but that was a presidential statement and even that foreign minister who does not know how much Egypt really is engaged in Sudan is a minister from Al Bashir's party !!
My own explanation is based on the fact that Omar Al Bashir is a weak dictator who is facing many challenges above them a dissolving nation on the verge of separation whether the South or Darfur not to mention the troubles in the East , I understand how leaders like Bashir act searching or creating pseudo enemies and pseudo wars. He wants to divert the Sudanese people attention to something else than his fiascos.
FYI the South will join the Nile basin countries new initiative after the separation according to several reports that were published in the last two weeks.
Since 1899 condominium agreement Hala'ib triangle had been recognized as an Egyptian territories at latitude 22 till the separation or the independence of Sudan in 1955.Historically Hala'ib triangle was operated by the governor of Khartoum through an administrative order from the Egyptian minister of war that was issued on November 4,1902 in order to facilitate the movement of Ababda and Bishariyin tribes between the two countries. The oldest and only document that speaks about sovereignty pertaining to Hala'ib is the 1899 agreement, which left the area under Egyptian sovereignty.
After 1956 the Sudanese government began to claim the triangle the thing which led Nasser to send Egyptian army troops to the area yet he refused to turn it militarily due to his Arab nationalist views. Of course when I made a quick search about that confrontation we have forgotten despite it ended to our side in a very emotional way when Nasser responded on the warnings of launching a war against Egypt
Take Hala'ib and take Aswan, if you desire. I shall not allow Arab blood to be shed on the lands of Egypt or the Sudan, however grave the issue isOf course Nasser was not that emotional or romantic , on the contrary. For 20 years we forgot about Hala'ib especially that Sinai was lost and we tried to regain it back. I think during that time the borders at the triangle were open for the tribes to move from and in to Sudan and vice versa.
In 1978 during the Nimeiry days in Sudan and Sadat days in Egypt , Hala'ib surfaced again when the Sudanese considered a Sudanese territories and granted a concession to search for oil to American Texas Eastern oil company without consulting or taking the approval of Cairo , the crisis was solved simply by an agreement that whatever was found in latitude 22 would be from Egypt's share. Nothing was found though.
During Mubarak things went from small crisis to big ones thanks to Al Bashir who granted a concession to search for oil Canadian company in the red sea area including latitude 22 once again without consulting Egypt. When Egypt objected on the this , the Egyptian Phosphate Company was banned from excavating magnesium in the Hala'ib region after seventy-five years of uninterrupted work. Finally,the Egyptian citizens were ordered in the triangle to replace their Egyptian documents with Sudanese identity cards. Of course as an Egyptian citizen , one must wonder where our army was from all this and how the Sudanese authorities banned our company from excavation and replaced the Egyptian ids with Sudanese ids !!?? The Egyptian answer as far as I understood was cutting the highways between Port Sudan and Hala'ib
Between 1992 and 1993 the Egypt and Sudan witnessed what could be the worst stages of their very long and historical relations up till then because of the tensions resulted from Hala'ib then of course came the assassination attempt of Mubarak and the fact that those who were behind it took refugee in Sudan along with other wanted terrorists.
In 1996 the Sudanese media claimed that the Egyptian army invaded Hala'ib and poor Al Bashir accepted that reality to avoid the wrath of Mubarak !!?
In 2010 during the Sudanese elections Cairo was surprised to find Sudanese officials considering Hala'ib as an electoral committee then we got these presidential statements of Al Bashir.
During my research I found out that the conflict between the North and South began to appear in 1955,UK could not just leave in peace.
View Larger Map
Here is a map for Hala'ib in Google maps , for the record Google maps has considered the Hala'ib triangle as disputed area , it is awkward for sure because officially it is an Egyptian territory . Nevertheless it is not that awkward compared to Wikimapia which recognizes the area as Sudanese !!
|Hala'ib in Wikimapia|
I think the current development at Marsa Alam will encourage investors to invest there.
Most of the talk about Hala'ib as far as I see online is associated with the anti-Egyptian feelings in Sudan , lots of people hate us due to different reasons above them the regard that the Egyptian is invader , that regard from the last century to the unfortunate events of Mustafa Mahmoud square to racism in our films and TV series ..etc
The hate and anger I am afraid are being used by Sudan's worst ruler to escape from accountability for what he has been causing from disasters we will pay all for , we are not the enemy and we are not invading Hala'ib.
We got three neighbors Mubarak does not really know how to deal with , Israel , Qaddafi and Omar Al Bashir , again he have failed to solve the Hala'ib's issue once and for all in his terms which are longer than Nasser and Sadat combined together !!
Hala'ib was meant to be the Kashmir of the Nile valley and it is up to the children of that valley to solve it once for all especially that their land and also their water are in more danger than any other time in history.