Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sovereignty over the area has never been satisfactorily determined. Both Egypt and Sudan claim ownership over the land.
In 1899, at which time the United Kingdom held great influence in the area, the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium Agreement for Sudan set the border at the 22nd parallel. However, in 1902, for its own convenience, the United Kingdom drew a separate “administrative boundary,” under which a triangle of land north of the parallel was placed under Sudanese administration because it was more accessible from Sudan.
In 1958, Gamal Abdel Nasser sent Egyptian troops into the disputed region but withdrew them shortly afterwards.
Although both countries laid claim to the land, the area remained under Sudanese control until the dispute resurfaced in 1992, when Egypt objected to Sudan’s granting of exploration rights in the waters off the Halaib Triangle to a Canadian oil company. Negotiations began, but the company pulled out of the deal until sovereignty was settled. In January 2000, Sudan withdrew its own forces from the area, effectively ceding control of the border zone to Egypt, whose forces have occupied the area ever since.
However, Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir claimed in 2004 that despite his nation's withdrawal, and Egypt's control of the Hala'ib triangle, that the triangle still rightfully belonged to Sudan. He insisted that Sudan had “never relinquished” the town of Hala'ib and its surrounding environs. “We did not make any concessions... The proof is that we have recently renewed the complaint to the Security Council,” he said, according to Associated Press.
Newly discovered oil reserves in the territory may have prompted Al-Bashir’s decision to resurrect Sudan’s claim, and this has only increased the desire of both states to claim the area.
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