October 14, 2009

No access to Halayeb Triangle for Election

Election impossible in Halayeb area, says Beja Congress
Khartoum Monitor reports that Beja Congress Spokesperson, Salah Barukin, has ruled out the possibility of conducting elections in the disputed Halayeb Triangle in northern Sudan. He reportedly told Miraya FM that the area is totally under the control of Egyptian authorities and that no Sudanese citizen could go in.

In March 2009, a Egyptian naval patrol boat, guard tower and 5 large shore-based military cannons were in place.
UNMIS media: MMR 14Oct09

About the Halayeb Triangle.
This area is just north of the Egyptian border line, by the Red Sea, and is named after a seacoast town in the area. The administration of this area was given to Sudan [rather than Egypt] in the first two decades of the 20th century, before Egypt was an independent country. Access was easier from Sudan than Egypt. The line also followed tribal territories. The Beja Bisharin live south, while the Beja Ababda live north of the line. Being mostly desert this hasn't mattered for a century or so.

In the past few years, oil companies have begun to search in the area, and so national interests have become important.

The Sudanese National Electoral Commission recently listed the area as an electoral consituency, and the residents have welcomed the opportunity to vote in Sudan elections. The Egyptian authorities have not agreed to such a plan, and have argued against the participation of local residents to vote in Sudanese elections.

Beja herdsmen drive camels along the historic route up the coast to sell in northern markets, so there is an interest in using the Halabyeb triangle as a trade route between Sudan and Egypt.

For information about the first ever locust survey in the Halayeb Triangle, visit
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