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'Khartoum forsakes rights of eastern Sudanese': Beja Congress

November 4 - 2015 PORT SUDAN
Beja Congress members and friends protest againt the government of Al Bashir in Manchester, England, 24 February 2012 (file photo)
Beja Congress members and friends protest againt the government of Al Bashir in Manchester, England, 24 February 2012 (file photo)

The National Beja Congress has accused Khartoum of ignoring the rights of the eastern Sudanese in the border areas “to appease the neighbouring countries”.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, Sheiba Dirar, the chairman of the Beja Congress, criticised the “weakness of the Khartoum regime and its disregard for the people living in the disputed Halayeb Triangle on the Sudanese-Egyptian border, and El Fashaga locality on the Sudanese-Ethiopian border”.

The opposition leader accused government officials of “wrapping their personal interests in slogans about the defence of the country's territory”.

“The eastern Sudanese will not leave Halayeb in the north and El Fashaga in El Gedaref,” he stressed. “We will do their utmost best to return these areas to the bosom of the nation. Governments will go but the land will remain.”

Dirar urged Khartoum to “very soon” start negotiations with the Egyptian and Ethiopian governments so as to restore the lands in Halayeb and El Fashaga.

Demarcation

The demarcation of the borders at both places has never been concluded after Sudan became independent in January 1956.

The dispute about Halayeb is a result of the discrepancy in the demarcation of a “political boundary” set in 1899 by the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium and an “administrative boundary” set by Britain in 1902. The Egyptian army seized control of the area in 1995. Recently, Egypt set up a system of governance in the area and began issuing IDs.

The Sudanese-Ethiopian border line of El Gedaref state is also disputed. Recently, Sudanese farmers in El Fashaga locality were expelled by Ethiopian gunmen. Reportely, about 2,000 Ethiopian farmers are now cultivating the lands in the eastern part of El Gedaref state.


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