Halayeb Residents Must Be Allowed to Vote in 2015 Elections – Sudan’s NEC

Halayeb has been an accredited voting district since the 1953 elections, and its residents had participated in the electoral process, Chairman of the Supreme Elections Commission of Sudan’s Red Sea State Abdelkader Mohamed Toum said Wednesday.

Red Sea State’s Legislative Council Member Hamed Idris Soliman has called upon the Khartoum government to ensure residents of Halayeb can exercise their “constitutional right” to vote in the elections, Sudanese Media Center reported.

It is impossible to cede an “inch” of the Halayeb territory, which extends over an area of 20 thousand km inhabited by over 27 thousand people, Soliman added.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty announced Tuesday that the Halayeb and Shalateen border regions are an indivisible part of Egypt’s territories and their annexation to the brotherly state of Sudan is “not negotiable”.

Abdelatty added to Aswat Masriya over the phone that Egypt and Sudan are seeking the formation of a trade integration area on the borders separating both states. He said that such an area would encompass Halayeb and Shalateen.

Sudan’s National Elections Commission announced on Sunday it will begin demarcating voting districts by mid-September, in preparation for the 2015 elections. Sudanese news website Sudan Tribune reported that the commission will include the contentious area of Halayeb among its voting districts.

Abdelatty described the media reports as “unofficial”, adding that they do not warrant an official response from Egypt.

Located on Egypt’s southern borders, the Halayeb and Shalateen regions are inhabited by tribes with historic roots from Egypt and Sudan.

Halayeb is considered Egypt’s southern gate to the Red Sea. Its prime role is to provide customs services to those crossing over to the Sudanese borders.

Source : Aswat Masriya