Wed May 11, 2016 09:44AM
Egyptian protesters with placards shout slogans during a demonstration against a controversial deal to hand two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia on April 15, 2016 in Cairo. (AFP)
Egyptian protesters with placards shout slogans during a demonstration against a controversial deal to hand two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia on April 15, 2016 in Cairo. (AFP)
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A quarrel over the sovereignty of disputed territory is threatening to escalate as Sudan and Egypt lock horns. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour has reiterated Khartoum’s ‘sovereign rights.’ 

The issue is two border areas near the Red Sea that have been the subject of a long-standing dispute with Egypt. Cairo’s recent transfer of the strategic Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia in exchange for billions in foreign aid has also come under the microscope. What does control of the disputed territories mean and what parts exactly do Israel and Saudi Arabia have to play? 

Protesters took to the streets in Egypt to demand president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi explain his controversial decision to sell two strategically important islands to Saudi Arabia but they are not the only ones seeking answers. Khartoum is demanding a copy of the agreement between Cairo and Saudi Arabia as they examine Egypt’s continued claims to the contested Halayeb and Shalatin border territories. Sudan has always protested Cairo’s administration of the disputed areas.