Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Follow Up : Hala'ib Again And Again

"I know some readers have got sick from that topic but honestly the debate about Hala'ib's Egyptianhood is not that bad on the contrary I was motivated to search and read more and more because I do believe the case is in our side and Hala'ib is part of Egypt , I had to publish this now because I could not tolerate the claims of some lately in my blog that Egypt's so called occupation to Hala'ib is just like Israel's occupation to the occupied territories ; a disgusting sick claim that makes you wonder about the real motives of some"

When I was little girl , I was once told  by someone whom used to work in the national security that the Hala'ib case is in our side if we want to go to the IJC , we can go but there was no need to do so because we are all Arabs  and the relations between Egypt and Sudan were more stronger than that, that was before Mubarak's assassination attempt of course.

I am discussing the matter this time again with new historical legal details.  The Sudanese team says that the Baja and Basheriya tribes are originally Sudanese tribes and that's why it is Sudanese and also the maps internationally recognize the area as Sudanese "actually as disputed area"; well the tribes origins I am afraid are not enough to say that the territories are following to other countries as we already have tribes in Sinai that got branches in Gaza yet that did not say that Arish is not ours and also we got tribes in the West that got branches and origins in Libya yet this does not say that Sallum is not ours. These tribes in the end consider themselves as nomads , they are Egyptians as much as they are Sudanese. Egypt has long history of sovereignty on this area , a stable and long sovereignty .

Going back to history if we are speaking about maps then , at the Middle ages you find Egypt had ruled the city of Aydhab at latitude 22 and 20 kilometers from Hala'ib since the Fatimids. Reading more about the history of Aydhab , I became more familiar with the importance of this area of Egypt. Cover

Now I got scans from my great grandfather geography book , it had been printed in year 1902 for Tewfikeih training college, as you can see it was printed in England and written by a British professor whose name was H.W Mardon.

As you can see our borders end at latitude 22 at Hala'ib which goes to our agreement with UK and the Othman Empire. It even recognized Wadi Khalfa as an Egyptian territory.

My great grandfather geography book from year 1902

This was an official geography book from year 1902. In 1904 the minister of interior in Egypt delegated the governor of Khartoum to administrate Hala'ib due to the fact it is closer to Hala'ib and to facilitate the movement of officials , we are speaking about 1904 for God sake.  Internationally this delegation order is not recognized because it is considered as a local internal one , Egypt and Sudan were one country officially then. Strangely we got a British map for Egypt and Sudan in 1910 said otherwise from 1910. Since 1914 the printed maps in Sudan began to neglect borders and presented as administrative boundaries , of course that move was sponsored by the British.

In 1915 the first mining contracts in the area were granted by the Egyptian state not by the Khartoum governor. After the 1919 revolution and our independence in 1922 the talk started about the future of Sudan ,the Wafd government insisted on Sudan but of course Saad Pasha cabinet had to resign after the assassination of Sir Lee Stack , the governor general of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Saad Pasha resigned after refusing to withdraw the Egyptian army from Sudan and to pay a compensation to the British government. According to some sources starting from year 1922 UK started to play the maps game . In 1928 the British foreign affairs ministry  commissioned officially Rand McNalley to draw administrative boundaries in the Hala'ib section. UK did not waste its time to make us enemies in the country portraying Mohamed Ali family as devils who fought the Mahdi revolution.

In 1952 we found a book called "Sudan Question' by famous Sudanese journalist Mekki Abbas which discussed the dispute of the Anglo-Egyptian condominium including a map that identities Hala'ib as an Egyptian territory. Why would a journalist and man like Abbas include Hala'ib as an Egypt territory if it were not so !!?? Abbas was not a friend to the regime in Cairo as it opposed his appointment as regional director of UNESCO in Cairo when he joined the UN later for your information.

In 1954 the Egyptian state founded a mining company in Hala'ib called Elba company tribute to Elba mount and according to my knowledge more than 82 companies made agreements through all those years with the Egyptian state regarding mining and excavation rights in the area. Later in the 1950s the Sudanese government then went to the security council in what I consider a political move from the West in the end in order to teach Nasser a lesson after the Suez Canal.

We are not afraid to go to the IJC yet unlike some minority of Sudanese we do not want it to reach to that level because we and the Sudanese were one once , we consider them our people , our natural extension in the South whom we should not have left in 1954. We are ready to go to the IJC but unfortunately I can't trust this current regime now as it is excelled in losing our rights.  It is easy to make us the villains as we are now in the ugly Egyptian era yet this will not force on giving up our rights and our land or our rights.

I still believe the Sudanese regime is diverting the Sudanese public again from all the deadly challenges it is facing , a nation on the verge of dissolution , whether the east or south or west and unfortunately we are too weak to stop all these conspiracies that will affect our national security if we put all the history of Egypt and Sudan aside.


  1. You did good job!

    But sorry, I still not fully convinced that it is Egyptian.

    By mentioning the map games:
    We can find some give it EgyptÄgypten_Dar_Fur_und_Abessinien.jpg,_1881-98,_modern_Sudan.png

    While some others not

    Another issue, the tribes card cannot be compared with the cases at Arish and Sallum etc. because those areas are not a subject matter of geographic conflict like the case in hand, so, if at some time Libya disputed that Sallum is Libyan then Awlad Ali and other tribes would be its wild card in the dispute.

    My Dear, Egypt need stronger evidences to win, and the strongest card ever the free choice of the people occupying the area.

  2. Sudanese Optimist8/12/2010 04:52:00 AM

    I, no 'we' insist that the principle of military occupation or claiming sovereignty over land by force - is either universally abhorrent or universally acceptable - selectivity is not logical or fair.
    The Government of the United Arab Emirates has voiced the same comparative sentiments (between the Occupied Territories in the Levant) and the Tumb and Abu Musa islands which are illegally militarily occupied by Iran.

    Comparing Egypt's other ethnic groups that are shared with other neighbouring States with the case of Halayeb is not objective.

    There 'is' a dispute over Halayeb, and the case law of the International Court of Justice does look into the historical anthropology of the peoples of an area when determining sovereignty. The ICJ did so most recently in its arbitration over Abyei.

    You are correct in pointing out that Aydaab and Halfa were once part of Egyptian territory.
    The question is 'how' did they become part of Egyptian territory and the answer is through illegal military occupation.
    The old port city of Suakin was part of the Ottoman dominion.
    Does this mean that Turkey can lay claim to it today?
    This was Saddam's mentality and flawed premise when he invaded Kuwait, a move that was opposed by most of the international community - including Egypt.

    You are correct in pointing out that Sudan was part of Egypt 'and Britain' in 1904 subject to the Condominium Agreement.
    It was not solely part of Britain.
    Both countries had occupied or 'reconquered' Sudan after the establishment of the Mahdist State.
    This is in line with many other countries that were occupied and colonised in Africa and Asia.

    A whole politico-legal movement was born in the 1960's and the United Nations became mandated to oversee 'decolonisation'.

    Sudan was not a part of Egypt 'voluntarily' but by force.
    And in 1955 the Sudanese Parliament voted unanimously to declare 'independence' from both Britain...*and Egypt*.

    It was not the UK which portrayed Muhammad Ali and his dynasty as enemies of Sudan but rather the actions and intent of Muhammad Ali and his sons in Sudan.
    When the leader of the Ja'aliyeen Tribe
    the much feted Makk Nimir took the law in his own hands and assassinated Ismail the son of Muhammad Ali, Sudan was not one of Britain's priorities. His actions were supported by many of the Sudanese due to Ismail's arrogance, occupation and levying of taxes on the indigenous inhabitants.

    I recommend that you read 'يسألونك عن المهدية' 'And they ask you about the Mahdiyyah' by Imam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi in order to educate yourself on this matter.

    The Mahdist Revolution which united the peoples of Sudan was nothing but the 'effect' of the 'cause' which was the illegal foreign occupation of Sudan by Muhammad Ali for Sudan's gold, negroid soldiers which he conscripted by force into a battalion known as the 'Jihadiya' and to secure the sources of the Nile.

    The Mahdist Revolution resonates in the heart and spirit of all the Sudanese, even Dinka and Shilluk tribes joined in the struggle against foreign domination - so I advise care in what you say about it and recommend knowing 'something' before making ludicrous claims such as tracing the disdain of Muhammad Ali and his dynasty in Sudan to the Brits, who weren't even officially in the country at that time.

  3. Sudanese Optimist8/12/2010 04:54:00 AM

    Makki Abbas and others in his generation are literally a dying breed whose education was formed under Egypt's long shadow.
    For every Makki Abbas there are 3 free-thinking Sudanese intellectuals who support the case that Halayeb should be restituted to Sudanese sovereignty.
    One finds dissenters everywhere.
    As previously stated we have our case ready and a PhD Doctoral thesis was completed in the 90's in Cambridge by a Sudanese member of the North-South border committee on this very issue.

    By the way thanks very much for the info on Egypt's opposition to a Sudanese candidate running for regional directorship in UNESCO - it reaffirms many of our historical allegations.

    As for your claims that we were once one - yes we were, by force, and we opposed and fought that and succeeded in attaining independence first in the Mahdist State and then in 1956 through peaceful means.
    That is like an Iraqi saying that the Kuwaitis and Iraqis were once one based on Saddam's invasion of Kuwait.
    It is an assertion rejection by all Kuwaitis who are proud of their country, and the same applies to the Sudanese.

    How can you consider us 'your people' when you don't even know us?
    We don't consider ourselves your people and this is like the Spaniards saying the Argentines are 'their people' because Argentina used to be part of the Spanish Empire and because there are Argentines of Spanish origin.
    Argentines, like the Sudanese, are proud of being a part of Argentina and they don't consider themselves to be part of any other nation.

    The most poignant point you've made is when you said you consider us your Southern extension.
    This is very true and this was Muhammad Ali's intention when he invaded.
    We are Midstream in the Nile Basin and therefore constitute a potential threat to the inequitable status quo regarding allocation and use of the Nile's waters.
    I will not dispute that point, Sudan is of geo-strategic importance to Egypt but all other points are null and void.

    You say you shouldn't have left us in 1954...
    This is like Britain saying it should not have left India or a German saying Germany should not have left Poland, or even Austria which is completely unacceptable.
    No rational person would ever say this and condone illegal occupation and alien domination.

    Sudan is not a domestic pet to be held onto or neglected, it was the will of a nation that chose independence - recognise and respect that.

    It takes two to tango - the overwhelming drive in Sudan was for 'independence' - 'Sudan for the Sudanese' was the rallying call of the Umma Party.
    You tried to hold onto Sudan by hook or crook, President Naguib and Salah Salim financed and unified the 'Unionists' and they bribed the electorate but this was all in vain as the true, indigenous call was for 'independence' and freedom from 'alien domination'.

  4. Sudanese Optimist8/12/2010 04:55:00 AM

    Your post is based on so much false premise and so much unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence...
    For your information we are not all Arabs - 'you' are politico-legally an 'Arab Republic' and you identify yourselves as such - fair enough - what applies to you does not apply to us.
    Sudan is both constitutionally and in reality a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-lingual State.
    And assuming we were all Arabs - that argument was not brought up in disputes between Libya and Tunisia, Qatar and Bahrain or Yemen and Eritrea (which has a large Arabic speaking population) that were taken to the International Court of Justice for Arbitration...
    We demand that type of rational, logical treatment.

    And finally another misrepresentation is that this is all hatched up by the ruling party - it isn't.
    This issue has always been a demand by the Eastern Front when it took up arms against the government, and by the opposition Umma Party and even the leader of Egypt's friends the Unionists described the situation in Halayeb as problematic last March at a political rally in Kassala.

    I really do wonder where you get your information on Sudan from - the South will be voting on secession or unity soon, but self-determination is not a demand of the peoples of Eastern Sudan nor is it a demand of the peoples of Western Sudan - the West is extremely water-scarce, land-locked and basically unsustainable.

    Good points anonymous - you recognised the essence of the issue - which is the 'dispute' - until it is taken to international arbitration it shall continue to poison relations.

    Zeinobia what's disgusting and sick is the egotistical, ultra-nationalist chauvinism that blinds people from self-reflection, looking at matters objectively and admitting to problems and faults, especially when this concerns how 'the other' is dealt with.

  5. President Mubarak's decision to illegally occupy and annex Halayeb is Egypt's biggest strategic mistake in its relations with Sudan.

    This is a problem that will only be solved through international arbitration.
    Sudan's National Electoral Committee which had international observers verified the inclusion of Halayeb as an administrative district of The Red Sea State earlier this year, as it had been in all of Sudan's elections...

    AbdelNasser was wise enough to recognise the risks involved in taking Halayeb over by force and he withdrew Egyptian forces.

    Sadat was able to consolidate relations with Sudan and to dynamically change the relationship into one of mutual benefit - but his life was cut short.

    President Mubarak was always more interested in the Middle East and Levant.

    Granted the unwarranted, criminal attempt on his life was unprecedented and grave - but in the long run I believe the illegal military occupation of Halayeb will cast an even longer shadow over relations.

  6. "I could not tolerate the claims of some lately in my blog that Egypt's so called occupation to Hala'ib is just like Israel's occupation to the occupied territories ; a disgusting sick claim"

    But what isn't a disgusting and sick claim is the Muslims' brutal 1400 year occupation of Egypt and the massacring and humiliation of its Copts.

  7. Sudanese Observer8/12/2010 02:40:00 PM

    Your posts, stories, links and photocopied maps won't solve this dispute.

    If you really care about your country what you should do is to support the submission of this dispute to international arbitration just like what the rest of the world do in the event of disputes and like what Egypt did in its dispute over Taba with Israel.

  8. You all have valid points and could argue volumes about who has the rights to Halaib.
    Let the courts decide once and for all.

  9. Thank you Anonymous.

    This is precisely the wish of the Sudanese.

    And our logical proposal to take this to international arbitration is met with indignation - this alone speaks volumes...

  10. abd elhamid elsayed
    to all people posting here
    when you post for a cause, you present yourself in your true identity not by a false name if you really want to be considered and who accepts a discussion have to verify the other identity
    i am abd elhamid elsayed
    and i have no other names and i am on facebook and here is my address
    3050 south moorland road new berlin , wisconsin , usa
    phone number
    and now my reply
    allah akbar halayeb is egyptian now and forever
    and this by the 1899 border agreement between egypt and united kingdom.
    you sudanese : stop crying like children when you have not read history and what happened in the past
    you are crying about halayeb which is 100% egyptian and forget your territorial dispute with ethiopia due to various factors.
    you sudanese should have taken the same point with the south who left you and who knows what will happen in darfur

    i dare you all to proclaim your true identity and verify it in a skype video call , how easy is to write anonimously behind a screen .

    i dare you all to challenge me in a skype video call
    skype name : abd elhamid elsayed

  11. @abd elhamid elsayed, just FYI, your name links to a nonexistent Facebook page, which dilutes your story of being a real person.


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