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Southern separatists backed by the UAE have seized control of a key military base in the coastal city of Aden after a UAE fighter jet bombed the facility, according to a senior Yemeni official.

The official told Al Jazeera that the fighters are from the Southern Resistance Forces (SRF) - the armed wing of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), a political movement demanding secession for southern Yemen.

The fighters seized the base early on Tuesday, despite a ceasefire being brokered by coalition partners Saudi Arabia and the UAE hours earlier.

Source=http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/yemen-uae-backed-separatists-take-control-aden-180130160510863.html

Unofficial translation of letter sent by the Dutch Ministery of Foreign affairs in response to the Dutch parliament motion on closure of the Eritrean embassy
The official document (Dutch) can be found here: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/kamerstukken/2018/01/17/kamerbrief-met-reactie-op-motie-over-sluiten-eritrese-ambassade

To the Chair of the Second Chamber of the States General

Date: 17 January 2018
Concerning: Motion of Sjoerdsma and Azmani (kst. 22831-132) about closing the Eritrean embassy
Dear Chair,
With this letter, the Cabinet informs your Chamber about the subsequent steps taken in response to the motion of members Sjoerdsma and Azmani (kst. 22831-132) in which the ‘government is requested to close the Eritrean embassy’.
The Cabinet has noted with concern the broadcast of Argos on Saturday 23 December. The broadcast confirms the current picture of the way in which the Eritrean community has to pay the diaspora tax to gain access to consular services from the Eritrean embassy office in The Hague. On 28 December 2017, the Eritrean ambassador in Brussels (co-accredited in the Netherlands) was summoned. In the talks with the ambassador, the great concerns of the Netherlands about the current practices around the collection of the diaspora tax in the Netherlands have again been explicitly conveyed.
Based on this meeting and earlier talks with the Eritrean authorities, the Cabinet concludes that there is no understanding from the Eritrean side about the great political and societal resistance in the Netherlands towards the way in which the diaspora tax is collected, and also that there is no willingness on the Eritrean side to conform to this.
For that reason, partly in light of the continuing indications that intimidation and coercion take place in relation to the collection of the diaspora tax and the resulting societal and political unrest, the Cabinet is obliged to give off a powerful diplomatic signal to the Eritrean authorities. By doing so, the Cabinet wants to make clear that the Netherlands does not accept these undesirable practices.
At the same time, the Cabinet recognises that no judge has as yet recorded proof of wrongful or punishable offenses by the Eritrean embassy office in The Hague. If the Public Prosecutor receives indications of possible punishable offenses, it will investigate these for leads for further criminal investigation and could instigate prosecution.
Considering the above, the Cabinet has decided to declare the chargé d’affaires of the Eritrean embassy office in The Hague persona non grata and has demanded his departure. The Eritrean ambassador was summoned on Tuesday 16 January to receive the note verbale containing this decision.
In the diplomatic world, a declaration of persona non grata counts as a very severe measure. The Netherlands rarely uses this measure and has never before closed an embassy (office) in the Netherlands unilaterally. The Netherlands understands that this measure is highly exceptional, which is intended as a signal to the Eritrean authorities.
The Cabinet has not decided to close the embassy office in The Hague. If the embassy office would be closed, the bilateral relations with Eritrea would be damaged to such an extent that adequate representation, for example in the area of migration, human rights and consular affairs and missions, would be virtually impossible. In addition, it was considered during the decision making process that the Eritrean community in the Netherlands benefits from nearby access to consular services. It would experience great practical hinderance of the closing, in which case the journey to Brussels has to be made for every consular service.
In order to reach a sustainable solution for the circumstances around the collection of the Eritrean diaspora tax, hard diplomatic measures alone will not suffice and it remains, among other things, crucial that police reports about punishable facts are filed.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Halbe Zijlstra

Source=https://martinplaut.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/dutch-government-expels-eritrean-charge-daffaires-text-of-official-letter/

Sudan deploys more troops to Eritrea border

%AM, %15 %451 %2018 %10:%Jan Written by

Sudan deploys more troops to Eritrea borderThe latest tension was sparked after Sudan signed an agreement to temporarily hand over the Red Sea island of Suakin to Turkey [Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters]

Sudan says it has sent more troops to its eastern border with Eritrea as tension in the Red Sea region continues to rise. 

Early this month Khartoum closed its borders with Eritrea and sent troops to its border region of Kassala, following reports that Egypt has deployed troops in Asmara.

"Sudan's national army has sent part of its forces to this area to protect Sudan's security as we have information that some parties are targeting us," Sudanese foreign minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, said after meeting his Ethiopian counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu in Khartoum on Sunday.

Ghandour said that they were not talking "about threats to a country per se" but that they have information that shows there are some who would mean them harm.

"This is why we are anticipating whatever danger can come from there," Ghandour said.

The meeting took place amid deteriorating relations between Sudan and Ethiopia on one side and Egypt and Eritrea on the other. Khartoum has also recalled its ambassador in Cairo following the reports of Egyptian troops presence in Eritrea.

The latest tension was sparked after Sudan signed an agreement to temporarily hand over the Red Sea island of Suakin to Turkey. 

Ankara and Khartoum said Turkey would rebuild the ruined, sparsely populated Ottoman island to increase tourism and create a transit point for pilgrims crossing the Red Sea to Islam's holiest city of Mecca. Turkey is also set to build a naval dock on the island.

Egyptian media criticised the agreement and alleged Turkey would build a military base on the island.

Ties between Turkey and Egypt have been frosty for some time.

Ankara strongly condemned Egypt's military coup in 2013, which overthrew democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Political tension between the Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia has been rising for years over the use of the water of the Nile River and Ethiopia's decision to build the continent's biggest hydroelectric dam on the river.

Egypt has been at odds with Sudan and Ethiopia over the $4.8bn dam project, with Cairo fearing that its position downstream may affect its access to water from the Nile River basin, which will feed the dam.

Cairo accuses Sudan of supporting the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project, while Khartoum accuses Egypt of supporting rebels in Sudan.

Meanwhile, Eritrea has fought two border wars with Ethiopia - which has had a decades-long dispute with Egypt over the Nile River water. The border wars left more than 80,000 people dead and the two East African countries are technically still at war.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera News

Friday, 12 January, 2018 - 07:00
 
 
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, left, shakes hands with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi at the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, January 9, 2018. (AP)
Khartoum, Cairo - Ahmed Younis and Asharq Al-Awsat
Sudan announced on Thursday arrangements to confront what it called potential threats from Egypt and Eritrea near its borders with the latter.

Cairo meanwhile avoided responding immediately to the claim, declaring through its Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid that the Egyptian position on Sudan has been “expressed by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on several occasions.”

Ibrahim Mahmoud, assistant to the Sudanese president and his deputy in the ruling National Congress Party, said that the authorities received security information about possible threats, which may come from Egypt and Eritrea in the Eritrean area of Sawa.

Mahmoud explained that the meeting of the leadership of the ruling party, which began Wednesday evening and concluded early Thursday, directed the continuation of security arrangements on the eastern border of the country, to face potential threats from the two countries.

Cairo, in turn, avoided escalation with Khartoum. Contacted by Asharq Al-Awsat, the official spokesmen of the Egyptian Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs refused to comment on the Sudanese accusations.

In a press conference with his Tanzanian counterpart on Thursday, Shoukry said that Egypt “has always the hope that relations with Sudan will be satisfactory to take into account the aspirations and interests of the two peoples in accordance with previous agreements.”

“This requires efforts and policies of openness... This has always been the aspiration of Egypt”, he stated.

A well-informed Egyptian political source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Egypt wanted to “soothe the atmosphere with Sudan at this time, and hopes that Sudan will not be the tool of a regional force that wants to pressure Egypt and poison the current situation.”

Sudan had closed its eastern border with Eritrea and deployed thousands of troops near the joint border after President Omar al-Bashir announced a state of emergency in the states of Kassala and North Kordofan on December 30.

The official statements at the time said that the closure of the border, and the transfer of troops to the east of the country, aimed at fighting smugglers and traffickers.

However, Mahmoud revealed for the first time on Thursday that they received “security information about possible threats, which may come from Egypt and Eritrea.”

Earlier this week, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi received his Eritrean counterpart, Isaias Afwerki, to discuss bilateral relations and coordination of efforts on all issues related to the situation in the Horn of Africa.

According to observers who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat, Egypt, through extensive cooperation with Eritrea, is seeking greater influence in the Horn of Africa, which is strategically important for its national security, with the growing Turkish and Qatari presence there, and the current tensions with Ethiopia and Sudan.
 
  • By maggie michael, associated press

Issaias and Abdulfetah

In this photo provided by Egypt's state news agency, MENA, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, left, meets with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the presidential

more +

Egypt's president and his Eritrean counterpart met in Cairo on Monday amid heightened tensions with Sudan and Ethiopia over border disputes and the construction of a massive upstream Nile dam.

Egypt fears the soon-to-be completed dam in Ethiopia could cut into its share of the river, which provides nearly all its freshwater. Eritrea and Ethiopia have long been bitter rivals and went to war in the late 1990s. Ethiopia denies it is cutting into Egypt's share of the Nile, and has accused Eritrea of training rebels to carry out sabotage attacks on the dam.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi hosted Isaias Afwerki at the presidential palace. "The two sides have agreed on continuing intensive cooperation in all issues related to the current situation to support the security and stability in the region," Egyptian presidency spokesman Bassam Radi said, referring to the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea strait of Bab al-Mandab as two major areas for ensuring stability.

The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network recently reported that Egypt is deploying troops in Eritrea. The Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization, an Eritrean opposition group, last year claimed that Egypt is building a military base on Eritrea's Dahlak island and will deploy up to 30,000 Egyptian naval forces.

Eritrean Information Minister Yemane G. Meske denied the Al-Jazeera report in a tweet this week, saying: "Al-Jazeera News Channel seems to relish propagating false and preposterous news on Eritrea: latest is phantom deployment of Egyptian troops/weapons!"

Egypt's relations with Sudan, which has lent support to Ethiopia in the Nile dispute, have meanwhile deteriorated.

Sudan recalled its ambassador for consultation last week, and has said a 2016 maritime demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia infringes on its territorial waters. The waters in question are off the coast of an Egyptian-held border region claimed by Sudan. Egypt's pro-government media have accused Sudan of conspiring against Cairo with Turkey and Qatar.

Ethiopia says the $5 billion dam is essential for its economic development, noting that the vast majority of its 95 million people lack electricity. The dam's hydroelectric plant will generate over 6,400 megawatts, a massive boost to the country's current production of 4,000 Megawatts.

Egypt, with a population roughly equal to Ethiopia's, receives the lion's share of the Nile's waters under agreements from 1929 and 1959 that other Nile nations say are unfair and ignore the needs of their own large and growing populations.

Source=http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/egypt-building-water-purification-plant-face-shortages-52229414

Sudan shuts border with Eritrea

%PM, %07 %503 %2018 %12:%Jan Written by
Sat Jan 6, 2018 01:11PM
Members of the Sudanese border security patrol the Sudan-Eritrea border for smugglers and illegal migrants near the eastern Sudanese border town of Kassala on May 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Members of the Sudanese border security patrol the Sudan-Eritrea border for smugglers and illegal migrants near the eastern Sudanese border town of Kassala on May 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan has shut its eastern border with Eritrea, state media reported Saturday, days after Khartoum declared an emergency in the neighboring state of Kassala.

"The governor of Kassala issued a decree to close all border crossings with Eritrea from the night of January 5," the official SUNA news agency reported.

It did not explain why the border was closed but said the decision comes after President Omar al-Bashir declared on December 30 a state of emergency in Kasala and in North Kordofan state for six months.

Officials have said that decision was part of a government campaign to collect illegal arms in those two states.

A resident of Kassala told AFP that hundreds of Sudanese soldiers, several military vehicles and tanks had crossed through the town towards the border with Eritrea over the past two days.

Thousands of Eritreans, fleeing a repressive regime at home, cross into Sudan illegally through the border with Kassala every year and later make perilous voyages across the Mediterranean to Europe.

Apart from Kassala and North Kordofan, a state of emergency is in place in Sudan's war-torn regions of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

(Source: AFP)

Eritrea Liberty Magazine Issue 48

%AM, %07 %011 %2018 %00:%Jan Written by

Fact: Sudan has withdrawn its ambassador to Egypt ‘for consultations’. No explanation offered. So what is going on?

Here’s a stab at an analysis – without guarantees.

Sudan Tribune offers this as background, which centres on the disputed Halayeb triangle along their border, plus disputes over the Nile.

Others add a wider dimension: backing for the Muslim Brotherhood. More below.


Halayeb Triangle (Sudan-Egypt) Borders, on 22 October 2012 (NASA-Google)

Source: Sudan Tribune

January 3, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The head of Sudan’s Technical Committee for Border Demarcation (TCBD) Abdalla al-Sadiq said Egypt’s actions in the disputed Halayeb triangle aim to provoke Sudan to engage in direct clashes.

The border triangle area of Halayeb, Abu Ramad and Shalateen, which is a 20,580 km area on the Red Sea, has been a contentious issue between Egypt and Sudan since 1958, shortly after Sudan gained its independence from the British-Egyptian rule in January 1956.

The area has been under Cairo’s full military control since the mid-1990’s following a Sudanese-backed attempt to kill the former Egyptian President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak.

Last month, Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced that it would build a dam in Wadi Hodein, Shalateen area, to benefit from rainwater and floods.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) Wednesday quoted al-Sadiq as saying the Egyptian authorities’ aggression in Halayeb triangle would be “counterproductive to Egypt”.

He described Egypt’s actions in Halayeb as “continued infringement on Sudanese territory”, saying the Egyptian aggression aims to drag Sudan to engage in direct clashes.

Al-Sadiq called for the need to resolve the issue through the peaceful means, underscoring Halayeb is a Sudanese territory and “we will restore it”.

Egypt continued to reject Sudan’s repeated calls for referring the dispute to international arbitration.

In April 2016, Cairo refused a demand by the Sudanese government to hold direct talks on Halayeb and Shalateen or to accept the referral of the dispute to the International Court of Arbitration.

The international law provides that the agreement of the two parties is needed to arbitrate a dispute with the tribunal.

In July last year, Sudan filed a notice with the UN, claiming that Egypt is occupying the triangle, and refusing to claim any rights for a third party.

In the same month, Cairo announced it would start oil and gas exploration in the Red Sea province, including the Halayeb triangle.

Tensions between Sudan and Egypt have escalated lately, due to several issues, including contention over their border, and Sudan’s support for Ethiopia in negotiations over the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Cairo says will hurt its water needs.

The deterioration of bilateral relations between the two countries goes back to the attempt to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak in June 1995 followed by the deployment of Egyptian troops in Halayeb.

Since then, Khartoum has been moving to improve its ties with the eastern and western neighbours, instead of its strategic ties with Egypt.

Also, the Sudanese government recently signed investment agreements with Gulf countries. Accordingly, they will establish huge agricultural projects that require the full use of Sudan share of the Nile water, a move which is seen in Cairo as another threat to Egypt.


That’s Sudan Tribune’s take. But others see this as a dispute over the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in Egypt.

On the one side are states that support the Muslim Brotherhood: Turkey, Sudan, Qatar and the Palestinian group, Hamas. On the other side is Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt.

This thesis is supported by an AP report stating that: “Pro-government media in Egypt have also decried a recent visit to Sudan by Turkey’s president, who is a harsh critic of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi.”

Al-Jazeera – based in Qatar – provided this background to what was going on.

Why do Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates dislike the Muslim Brotherhood?

In 2013, Saudi rulers threw their weight behind Egypt’s brutal crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters. In March 2014, the kingdom designated the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist” group.

Analysts have concluded that a brand of Sunni Islamism that called for political participation and electoral legitimacy, of which the Muslim Brotherhood is perhaps the best example, was seen as almost an existential threat, because it offered a different model of Islamist politics to that of the Saudi state.

Certainly the Saudis consider the Muslim Brotherhood “terrorists” and designated them as such in 2014.

These divisions go back at least as far as the Arab Spring of December 2010 which was followed by Egypt’s suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013.

Following the Egyptian coup, Qatar granted refuge to some Brotherhood leaders who escaped from Egypt, and Al Jazeera housed them in a five-star Doha hotel and granted them regular airtime for promoting their cause.

Which brings us back to Sudan. Why should the Sudanese be opposing the Egyptians? Because the Sudanese government is dominated by the National Islamic Front (NIF), which is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hence the tension between Egypt and Sudan, with ramifications across the region.

Fact: Sudan has withdrawn its ambassador to Egypt ‘for consultations’. No explanation offered. So what is going on?

Here’s a stab at an analysis – without guarantees.

Sudan Tribune offers this as background, which centres on the disputed Halayeb triangle along their border, plus disputes over the Nile.

Others add a wider dimension: backing for the Muslim Brotherhood. More below.


Halayeb Triangle (Sudan-Egypt) Borders, on 22 October 2012 (NASA-Google)

Source: Sudan Tribune

January 3, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The head of Sudan’s Technical Committee for Border Demarcation (TCBD) Abdalla al-Sadiq said Egypt’s actions in the disputed Halayeb triangle aim to provoke Sudan to engage in direct clashes.

The border triangle area of Halayeb, Abu Ramad and Shalateen, which is a 20,580 km area on the Red Sea, has been a contentious issue between Egypt and Sudan since 1958, shortly after Sudan gained its independence from the British-Egyptian rule in January 1956.

The area has been under Cairo’s full military control since the mid-1990’s following a Sudanese-backed attempt to kill the former Egyptian President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak.

Last month, Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced that it would build a dam in Wadi Hodein, Shalateen area, to benefit from rainwater and floods.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) Wednesday quoted al-Sadiq as saying the Egyptian authorities’ aggression in Halayeb triangle would be “counterproductive to Egypt”.

He described Egypt’s actions in Halayeb as “continued infringement on Sudanese territory”, saying the Egyptian aggression aims to drag Sudan to engage in direct clashes.

Al-Sadiq called for the need to resolve the issue through the peaceful means, underscoring Halayeb is a Sudanese territory and “we will restore it”.

Egypt continued to reject Sudan’s repeated calls for referring the dispute to international arbitration.

In April 2016, Cairo refused a demand by the Sudanese government to hold direct talks on Halayeb and Shalateen or to accept the referral of the dispute to the International Court of Arbitration.

The international law provides that the agreement of the two parties is needed to arbitrate a dispute with the tribunal.

In July last year, Sudan filed a notice with the UN, claiming that Egypt is occupying the triangle, and refusing to claim any rights for a third party.

In the same month, Cairo announced it would start oil and gas exploration in the Red Sea province, including the Halayeb triangle.

Tensions between Sudan and Egypt have escalated lately, due to several issues, including contention over their border, and Sudan’s support for Ethiopia in negotiations over the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Cairo says will hurt its water needs.

The deterioration of bilateral relations between the two countries goes back to the attempt to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak in June 1995 followed by the deployment of Egyptian troops in Halayeb.

Since then, Khartoum has been moving to improve its ties with the eastern and western neighbours, instead of its strategic ties with Egypt.

Also, the Sudanese government recently signed investment agreements with Gulf countries. Accordingly, they will establish huge agricultural projects that require the full use of Sudan share of the Nile water, a move which is seen in Cairo as another threat to Egypt.


That’s Sudan Tribune’s take. But others see this as a dispute over the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in Egypt.

On the one side are states that support the Muslim Brotherhood: Turkey, Sudan, Qatar and the Palestinian group, Hamas. On the other side is Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt.

This thesis is supported by an AP report stating that: “Pro-government media in Egypt have also decried a recent visit to Sudan by Turkey’s president, who is a harsh critic of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi.”

Al-Jazeera – based in Qatar – provided this background to what was going on.

Why do Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates dislike the Muslim Brotherhood?

In 2013, Saudi rulers threw their weight behind Egypt’s brutal crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters. In March 2014, the kingdom designated the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist” group.

Analysts have concluded that a brand of Sunni Islamism that called for political participation and electoral legitimacy, of which the Muslim Brotherhood is perhaps the best example, was seen as almost an existential threat, because it offered a different model of Islamist politics to that of the Saudi state.

Certainly the Saudis consider the Muslim Brotherhood “terrorists” and designated them as such in 2014.

These divisions go back at least as far as the Arab Spring of December 2010 which was followed by Egypt’s suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013.

Following the Egyptian coup, Qatar granted refuge to some Brotherhood leaders who escaped from Egypt, and Al Jazeera housed them in a five-star Doha hotel and granted them regular airtime for promoting their cause.

Which brings us back to Sudan. Why should the Sudanese be opposing the Egyptians? Because the Sudanese government is dominated by the National Islamic Front (NIF), which is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hence the tension between Egypt and Sudan, with ramifications across the region

Fact: Sudan has withdrawn its ambassador to Egypt ‘for consultations’. No explanation offered. So what is going on?

Here’s a stab at an analysis – without guarantees.

Sudan Tribune offers this as background, which centres on the disputed Halayeb triangle along their border, plus disputes over the Nile.

Others add a wider dimension: backing for the Muslim Brotherhood. More below.


Halayeb Triangle (Sudan-Egypt) Borders, on 22 October 2012 (NASA-Google)

Source: Sudan Tribune

January 3, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The head of Sudan’s Technical Committee for Border Demarcation (TCBD) Abdalla al-Sadiq said Egypt’s actions in the disputed Halayeb triangle aim to provoke Sudan to engage in direct clashes.

The border triangle area of Halayeb, Abu Ramad and Shalateen, which is a 20,580 km area on the Red Sea, has been a contentious issue between Egypt and Sudan since 1958, shortly after Sudan gained its independence from the British-Egyptian rule in January 1956.

The area has been under Cairo’s full military control since the mid-1990’s following a Sudanese-backed attempt to kill the former Egyptian President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak.

Last month, Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced that it would build a dam in Wadi Hodein, Shalateen area, to benefit from rainwater and floods.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) Wednesday quoted al-Sadiq as saying the Egyptian authorities’ aggression in Halayeb triangle would be “counterproductive to Egypt”.

He described Egypt’s actions in Halayeb as “continued infringement on Sudanese territory”, saying the Egyptian aggression aims to drag Sudan to engage in direct clashes.

Al-Sadiq called for the need to resolve the issue through the peaceful means, underscoring Halayeb is a Sudanese territory and “we will restore it”.

Egypt continued to reject Sudan’s repeated calls for referring the dispute to international arbitration.

In April 2016, Cairo refused a demand by the Sudanese government to hold direct talks on Halayeb and Shalateen or to accept the referral of the dispute to the International Court of Arbitration.

The international law provides that the agreement of the two parties is needed to arbitrate a dispute with the tribunal.

In July last year, Sudan filed a notice with the UN, claiming that Egypt is occupying the triangle, and refusing to claim any rights for a third party.

In the same month, Cairo announced it would start oil and gas exploration in the Red Sea province, including the Halayeb triangle.

Tensions between Sudan and Egypt have escalated lately, due to several issues, including contention over their border, and Sudan’s support for Ethiopia in negotiations over the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Cairo says will hurt its water needs.

The deterioration of bilateral relations between the two countries goes back to the attempt to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak in June 1995 followed by the deployment of Egyptian troops in Halayeb.

Since then, Khartoum has been moving to improve its ties with the eastern and western neighbours, instead of its strategic ties with Egypt.

Also, the Sudanese government recently signed investment agreements with Gulf countries. Accordingly, they will establish huge agricultural projects that require the full use of Sudan share of the Nile water, a move which is seen in Cairo as another threat to Egypt.


That’s Sudan Tribune’s take. But others see this as a dispute over the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in Egypt.

On the one side are states that support the Muslim Brotherhood: Turkey, Sudan, Qatar and the Palestinian group, Hamas. On the other side is Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt.

This thesis is supported by an AP report stating that: “Pro-government media in Egypt have also decried a recent visit to Sudan by Turkey’s president, who is a harsh critic of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi.”

Al-Jazeera – based in Qatar – provided this background to what was going on.

Why do Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates dislike the Muslim Brotherhood?

In 2013, Saudi rulers threw their weight behind Egypt’s brutal crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters. In March 2014, the kingdom designated the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist” group.

Analysts have concluded that a brand of Sunni Islamism that called for political participation and electoral legitimacy, of which the Muslim Brotherhood is perhaps the best example, was seen as almost an existential threat, because it offered a different model of Islamist politics to that of the Saudi state.

Certainly the Saudis consider the Muslim Brotherhood “terrorists” and designated them as such in 2014.

These divisions go back at least as far as the Arab Spring of December 2010 which was followed by Egypt’s suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013.

Following the Egyptian coup, Qatar granted refuge to some Brotherhood leaders who escaped from Egypt, and Al Jazeera housed them in a five-star Doha hotel and granted them regular airtime for promoting their cause.

Which brings us back to Sudan. Why should the Sudanese be opposing the Egyptians? Because the Sudanese government is dominated by the National Islamic Front (NIF), which is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hence the tension between Egypt and Sudan, with ramifications across the region.

Source=https://martinplaut.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/behind-the-mounting-tension-between-egypt-and-sudan/

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