As Sudan protests erupt, Khartoum turns to UN over border disputes with Egypt

Seif Hesham
3 Min Read

Complaints about disputed territories on the Egyptian border were brought to the United Nations once again by the Sudanese government as they faced the fourth day of an internal backlash to their proposed 2018 budget.
In a related context, Ibrahim Ghandour, the Sudanese Foreign Minister, announced on Monday that the complaint about “The Halayeb Triangle” had been renewed with the United Nations. This followed the escalation of diplomatic tension between Sudan and Egypt, with Sudan unexpectedly recalling its ambassador in Egypt on 4 January.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told ONE TV channel’s Kol Youm talk show on Sunday that the recall of the Sudanese ambassador was a result of the territorial dispute, which, as a result of the sensitivity of the issue, the two countries had agreed to deal with on their own.
The territory has been a continued source of dispute between the two states, with contestation of its ownership beginning in 1958. More recently, in 2016, Egypt had rejected a Sudanese proposal for either bilateral discussions or international arbitration to resolve the issue. It is currently unclear what course of action Sudan wants the UN to take following this latest complaint.
For the Sudanese government, the regional struggles have come at a time of vociferous domestic opposition. Protests against austerity measures have been ongoing across the country since Sunday as a high school student was killed and five others were wounded in the city of Geneina.
The protests were instigated following doubled bread prices after the government announced in December that subsidies would be heavily cut in its 2018 budget. The cuts come as an attempt to combat inflation and are compliant with the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund to stimulate investment.
Babkar Daqna, Sudanese Minister of State for the Interior Ministry, told Sudanese state news agency SUNA that belligerent protesters will be “dealt with forcefully.” The state has also responded by arresting the head of one of Sudan’s largest opposition parties, Omar Al-Dageir of the Sudanese Congress Party, as well as blocking the sale of six newspapers containing criticism of the austerity cuts.

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