Sudan's foreign relations in the period from 1956 to 1958

Tue, 17 Oct 2017

Dr. Gism Al-Sied Hamza Ahmed Birer



This study aims to shed light on Sudan's foreign relations in the period from 1956 to 1958. The problem of the study is that Sudan and with the effort of his sons succeeded in building a sophisticated and distinct foreign relations. Its importance lies in the fact that it unveils the effort of the pioneers of diplomats to establish the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the diplomatic corps and the beginning of the Sudanese foreign representation. This study followed the historical analytical descriptive approach to reach scientific results and the most important results we got is that the establishment of Sudan's foreign relations was the effort of his sons, also its principles stood on non-aligned policy and advocate for Arab and African issues. The study also recommended to study that period in order to develop and promote Sudan's foreign relations at the present time.


•    Introduction
•    The Principles of Foreign Policy and the Establishment of the Sudanese Diplomatic Corps
•    The Principles of Foreign Policy
•    Joining Regional and International Organizations
•    Diplomatic Crises
•    Halayib’s Problem
•    Halayib in the Security Council
•    Conclusion
•    Study References



After the Egyptian Revolution of July 23, 1952 and its consent to grant Sudanese the right to self-determination, it became apparent that Sudan is on the doorstep of independence. In light of the January 1956 Sudan became an independent state with full sovereignty. The biggest challenge that faced the independent Sudan is the issue of external relations and the establishment of the Sudanese diplomatic corps.
As for external relations it seemed clear that Sudan, since participation of Al-Azhari in Bandung’s Conference in Indonesia in April 1955  will embrace the principle of non-aligned between the Eastern and Western blocs and to support Arab and African issues.
And if Sudan h gained some experience of the colonial ministration in terms of economic and military aspects, the establishment of the Sudanese diplomatic corps was purely national experience and effort of Sudanese competencies, because there was no qualified staff to provide for the launch of the upcoming diplomatic representation and to be the face of bright Sudan abroad. After selecting qualified diplomatic elements, the diplomatic representation officially began in July 1956, and for the lack of qualified personnel the diplomatic representation has been confined in the beginning with countries of international weight besides Arab states with exceptional relations, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and African neighbors. Although Sudan's relations were in the foundational stages not without some crisis with Egypt with respect to the water of the Nile and Halayib which still casts a show on the relations of the two countries.

The Principles of Foreign Policy and the Establishment of the Sudanese Diplomatic Corps:
Emergence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is one of the most important ministries of sovereignty, and it bears burden of implementing the foreign policy. Unlike other ministries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been established after the independence, so it came purely national by effort of Sudanese competencies from different disciplines.
Office of Special Affairs:
The Office of Special Affairs, which decided to establish under the Convention of February 12, 1953 is the first nucleus of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The objective was to be a link between the first Sudanese government and the Governor-General Sarai with respect to foreign affairs. In July 1954 the Office of Special Affairs ministration was assigned to Dr. Aqeel Ahmed Aqeel with the rank of undersecretary with the following tasks:

(A)    Carry out liaison between the Cabinet and the Governor-General Sarai and give advice to the Cabinet on foreign affairs.
(B)    Link between the Council of Ministers and other ministries, in all matters related to foreign affairs.
(C)    Prepare for all external conferences that represent Sudan or participate in.
(D)    Preparation, organization and supervision of the senior visitors and foreign guests who are visiting Sudan, care and preparation of their visit and their stay program in Sudan.
Also, agencies of the Government of Sudan have been founded, which is more like a foreign embassies and belong to the Office of Special Affairs. The beginning of Sudan's representation abroad in that period started with two agencies one in London that was assigned to Dr. Ali Euros and the second in Cairo under ministration of Babikir Mohammed Deeb, as well as consulates in Asmara and Jeddah. The Agency of Foreign Affairs watch over offices of foreign communication officers who are representatives of foreign countries in Sudan. The most important accredited foreign communication officers in that period were British trade envoy, Egyptian economist expert in addition to the United States, Germany, India, Yemen, Italy, the Netherlands and Lebanon which was represented by local consul Dr. Nicholas Malouf. In the second half of 1956 an integrated project to establish a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic corps and representation for Sudan has been prepared. The project was comprehensive for all details related to the mission of the ministry like its terms of reference, provisions and regulations that govern its work, proposals for constitution and formation and selection and its terms of reference, its levels, its allocations then a draft of the proposed beginning with a detailed structure of the initial proposed budget then after preparing it has been submitted to the Prime Minister in November 1955 , after discussing the details with Mubarak Zarrouk the project was endorsed.

The Independence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
After the independence, acknowledgment of the independence of Sudan was showered from different countries with demand to exchange diplomatic representation with Sudan, at the same time there was no qualified staff to work in Foreign Service or the central ministration and according to the memorandum of  the project the ministry began creating the nucleus of its departments, divisions and various initial basic management starting with ceremonies and political divisions and consular, economic and cultural relations, media ,bags, translation, security, supplies, pen users, registrars, accountants and other urgent demands to keep pace with its advanced growth. Finally it paid off on the final formation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as follows:
Political Department: assigned to the gentlemen: Karim Mirghani, Kamal al-Bakri and Aboubakr Othman.
Protocol Department: assigned to gentlemen:  Fakhruddin Ahmed Hassan and Mohammed Mattar.
Conferences Department: assigned to gentlemen: Sik Ahmed, Azzedine Shbeka and Abbas al-Dabi.
Economic Department: assigned to gentlemen: Mohammed Kojaly, Mohammed Ali Ahmed and Salah Zarrouk.

The Principles of Foreign Policy:
Features Sudan's foreign policy began taking shape before Sudan's independence, particularly since his participation in the Bandung Conference in Indonesia in April 1955, the participation of Sudan in this conference demonstrated that Sudan will embrace the principle of positive non-aligned in the future. Indeed, the first Sudanese Foreign Minister Mubarak Zarrouk said that Sudan has opted the principle of non-aligned international conflict between the Western and Eastern blocs, and tend to the third bloc led by India due to decisions of Bandung. On the Arab level, after joining the League of Arab States, he said that Sudan boycotts Israel politically and economically as same as other Arab states, stressed that Sudan will never participate in alliances that existed in the region.
After the establishment of Abdullah Khalil's coalition government there was no fundamental change in the principles upon which Sudan's foreign policy was established and the most important principles of this policy are:
(A)    Befriend all peoples and governments.
(B)    Complete remaining procedures to represent Sudan at the United Nations (UN) and the preparation of the Sudanese diplomatic corps properly.
(C)    Strengthen ties between Sudan and the people and governments of the Arab League and to work continuously to consolidate intimacy, friendliness and sincere co-operation between them.
(D)    Africa: working to strengthen the bonds of affection, friendship and common interest with governments and neighboring African people that binds us by blood, brotherhood and neighborliness ligament.
(E)    Respect to the decisions of Bandung with regard to African countries.
(F)    Respect to the United Nations’ Charter of equality and right of self-determination.
(G)    Backing up the African people' issues when they are submitted to the UN body.
(H)    Stand on neutrality with regard to alliances in the Arab Region.
Orientations of our foreign policy weren’t that accepted by everyone despite its national character. Some press pens wondered about the wisdom of clinging to the decisions of Bandung and correlation of the Arab League and not to enter into alliances, in turn they demanded laying the foundations of an intact Sudanese policy, based on interests not emotions, and reality not fiction, insist of clinging to loose general principles soaked in idealism because others profess same principles and interpret it according to their interests. As for Bandung its decisions must be subjected to our interest and not to be a restriction that cripples our movement and as for the Arab League, we must employ our membership in our favor as it is to the rest of the members and we should settle and never shine others, and to look from our own perspective in regard to the conflict with Israel, France, England and with the United States. Thus, each state of the League has its own viewpoint and interest where "Saudi Arabia is a US tendencies and income, Lebanon is a French economy and culture, Iraq is an English fancy and correlation, Jordan, Syria and Yemen as well. Leaving only us who have accepted the napkin center which scans by others their faces and noses".

Joining Regional and International Organizations:
Joining the League of Arab States:
From the beginning, the operators of the foreign policy comprehended the importance of joining international institutions, either at the regional or international level. In addition to economic and non-economic benefits the country will take its rightful place among prestigious nations. Joining these institutions and organizations especially financial ones may have also helped to achieve the desired development.
In the first half of January 1956  aware of the importance of communicating with the Arab surroundings, our Foreign Minister submitted an application for membership to the closest institutions to us which is the Arab League and without hesitation the Arab League agreed to accept Sudan and invited him to attend the extraordinary session to discuss the request and accept his membership, after less than a month of submission of the application for membership, Zarrouk Mubarak announced in the House of Representatives that Sudan's membership has been accepted in the Arab League and he noted that the consequences arising from the accession of Sudan in the Arab League "mean nothing but cooperating with and working for the common good of the Arab countries"

Joining the United Nations:
After the declaration of independence, Sudan has prepared an application for mission to membership in the United Nations. The Foreign Minister pointed out that Sudan submit his request to join this important institution based on the great principle that crowned with the Charter of the United Nations, namely the right to self-determination and through this demand, "our emerging country seeks to obtain an equivalent level promised by all peace-loving nations, large and small in the Charter so as to enable us to sit down and contribute to the discussions as a member of the United Nations”
In his application, the Foreign Minister pointed out some of the points that confirm the eligibility of Sudan to join this prestigious international institution and the most important are:
(A)    Journey of the Sudanese people, free of impurities and constitutional irregularities has his way by effort and perseverance step by step, going through constitutional developments that have led him eventually to independence.
(B)    Sudan's parliament is committed under the interim constitution to all the rights of equality upon which the foundations of the Charter of the United Nations body.
(C)    Promise to apply the principle of the rule of law which applies between individuals and will be applied between Sudan and all other world countries under the flag of the United Nations body.
At ten o'clock Monday evening, February 16, 1956 the Security Council met and offered the Sudan's request to join the UN body, its proposal has been attached by Britain, America and France, and was chaired by the Russian delegate. The Security Council exchanged views on the subject then all speakers agreed unanimously that Sudan h won its independence by peaceful means, and it is worthy of implementing of the United Nations Charter. The proposal was passed unanimously and was decided to be presented to the General Assembly for clearance in the autumn. On the twelfth of November 1956 the United Nations General Assembly agreed unanimously on accepting Sudan as a member of the UN, the General Assembly also approved by majority vote on the membership of Marrakech and Tunisia to the United Nations.
After Sudan's acceptance as a member of the United Nations body, the Sudanese Foreign Minister Ahmed Mahjoub held a press conference attended by delegates from newspapers and radio stations, he explained that Sudan has become a member takes his position among the nations, stresses his respect for the Charter of the United Nations, also confirms his intention to work for peace, security and tranquility around the world, and that Sudan will work to provide opportunities for all beneficiaries people to enjoy the right to freedom and self-determination. On the third of September 1956, Sudan became a member of the Food and Agriculture Organization one of the United Nations (UN) organizations, at the meeting organized, representative of the Sudan Mr. Wadi Habashi gave a valuable speech in which he thanked attendees for welcome and overwhelming kindness they have shown towards Sudan. UNESCO General Conference also agreed at its ninth meeting held in New Delhi from November 5, 1956 to December 5, 1956 to accept Sudan, Tunisia and Marrakech as new UNESCO members.
Establishment of the Diplomatic Corps:
After the independence of Sudan, there was no presence of qualified staff to meet the burdens of the diplomatic corps. It was decided to take into consideration scientism, practicality and ethicality for choosing of diplomat crew to launch anticipated diplomatic representation to be bright faces for Sudan overseas.
Candidates for the State Department have been divided into three sections:
Section I: They are senior staff and those will be selected by absolute choice, taking into account the validity and availability of qualifications as far as possible, public experience, age and integrity and they will be senior officers of public service or the judiciary or the military, and they might be politicians in some cases to be subjected all to test period not less than one year and not more than two years.
Section II: Also relatively senior staff in age and position and old universities alumni who have obtained a reasonable experience because the first group won’t stay longer in the service so these two sections will be the temporary force to start work and persist it.
Section III: Based mainly on young people recently graduated from universities or who will graduate soon and they are selected after practical test and accurate interview, this category will be on probation for two years. This team will be the nucleus of the permanent diplomatic corps, and it was decided that relations will be limited in the beginning due to financial conditions of the country, therefore, political representation will be built on the existence of interests with other countries and its global importance.  
The Beginning of the External Representation:
External diplomatic officially began in July 1956. On that date the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued its first diplomatic list which has been renewed automatically every four months. The Ministry prepared on the outer scale Sudanese legations and embassies overseas with all the necessary diplomats and staff, regulations and budgets, accommodations, transport and communications. The following have been nominated for the following embassies:
1. Awad Satti: Britain.
2. Babikir Al-Deeb: Egypt.
3. Dr. Ibrahim Anis: United States of America.
4. Mohammed Ham Al-Nile: the Soviet Union.
5. Khalifa Abbas Al-Ebeid: the presidency.
In the twenty-fourth of July 1956 the first Sudanese ambassadors and plenipotentiary ministries swore in front of the Council of sovereignty and left for their places of work abroad.
The Diplomatic Representation with Egypt:
Egypt is the first country to establish diplomatic representation in the independent Sudan. In the third of January 1956 the Egyptian Ambassador Candidate Mahmoud Seif El-Yazal Khalifa who arrived in the country with the representative of Egypt and holder of its recognition Hassan Abdel Fattah presented his credentials to win the post of he start on others and won the deanship of the diplomatic corps. On Tuesday, July 31, 1956, Sudan Candidate Ambassador to Egypt Mr. Babikir Mohammed Al-Deeb presented his credentials to President Gamal Abdel Nasser accompanied by Sudan's permanent representative at the Arab League and the Plenipotentiary Minister of embassy of Sudan in Cairo Mr. Ahmed Mukhtar. Just like Egypt's ambassador who first presented his credentials, Babikir Al-Deeb is the first Sudanese ambassador presents his credentials papers.
Few months later he was replaced by Yousif Mustafa Al-tinaei in March 1957. Al-Tinaei was the first ambassador of Sudan in Ethiopia and due to inadequacy of its weather to his health, the doctors recommended to transfer him and was transferred to Egypt.
The Diplomatic Representation with Ethiopia:
Ethiopia is an ancient African country, one of the first countries which gained independence at the level of Africa. It is one the first four countries established relations with Sudan before independence through its consulate in Asmara. Ethiopia won the prized Sudan gave its ambassador presented his credentials on June 17, 1956. In eleventh of October 1956, the first ambassador of Sudan to the Ethiopian Empire government Yousef Mustafa Al-Tinaei presented his credentials to the Emperor Haile Selassie. After leaving to Cairo the ambassador in the presidency of ministry Mr. Abbas Khalifa Al-Ebeid was nominated to the embassy of Sudan in Ethiopia in April 1957. Ethiopian government welcomed the choice of Khalifa due to his superior ability and good spirit and expressed its confidence that Khalifa will work hard to strengthen the fraternal ties between the two brotherly countries.
At that period, Sudan-Ethiopia relations characterized by firmness and durability because Sudan gave shelter to the Emperor after Italy occupied Ethiopia and his strong relationship with Mr. Abdul Rahman Al-Mahdi and Al-Sharif Youssef Al-Hindi and participation of Sudan in the liberation of Ethiopia from Italian colonization besides good situation in Eritrea and South Sudan at that period that helped on the stability of relations. Ethiopia fully supported Sudan in the issue of Halayib at all levels to the extent that Ethiopian university students were ready to volunteer and fight beside Sudan.
The Relations with Western Countries:
Some Western countries established relations with Sudan before independence through liaison offices run by liaison officers as representatives of their countries in Sudan and the most important of these are UK, the United States, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands and due to specialty of Sudan's relations with Britain, Sudan h an agency in London run by Dr. Ali Ouro with a rank of plenipotentiary minister and in the first half of 1956, all of Greece, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Belgium established diplomatic relations with Sudan. On the first of August 1956, the first Sudanese ambassador in Britain Mr. Awad Satti arrived to London’s airport from Khartoum and he was received by Charge d’Affaires of the embassy Mr. Ahmed Al-Mardi Jubara and some Embassy staff and Protocol Department of the British Foreign Ministry. On the eighth of August 1956, he presented his credentials to the Queen of England so it was the beginning of formal representation with Britain.   
As for relations with the United States, Dr. Ibrahim Anas presented his credentials on Friday, August 31, 1956 to the US President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Ambassador praised the role of the United States supporting Sudan in the Security Council and he promised to do everything in his power to upgrade relations between the two countries. In the same context, the US president praised the great example set by the Republic of Sudan in order to lay the foundations of independence and he wished Sudan success in building his state, he stated that the United States is happy to continue helping Sudan by all possible means to achieve this target.
The Relations with other Countries:
Most of the Arab countries except Egypt and some East Arab countries were under colonial domination when Sudan gained independence, therefore, it was difficult to establish relationships with them. As for Saudi Arabia, Sudan took the le for the exchange of diplomatic representation with it due to its religious and economic importance. On October 14, 1956 the Plenipotentiary Minister of Sudan in Jeddah Mr. Mahjoub Mkkawi presented his credentials to the King Saud. After the visit of Abdullah Khalil to Saudi Arabia in March 1957 the two parties acceded to upgrade diplomatic representation to the degree of embassy. At that time, Iraq, which was in race with Egypt over the Arab world's leadership focused on establishing diplomatic relations with Sudan. On May 3, 1956 the Cairo-based non-resident Ambassador of Iraq in Khartoum presented his credentials and on the thirtieth of September 1956 the Government of Iraq formally agreed to opt Mr. Jamal Mohamed Ahmed as the ambassador of the Republic of Sudan in Iraq.
The Relations with Asian Countries:
Sudan has special relations with India and Pakistan compared to other Asian countries, due to been subjected to the British colonization. As a result of this relation many of their citizens held many positions in Sudan during the dual rule, besides a lot of educational and legal Indian systems that have been adopted in Sudan. The Indian Dr. Sokomarsen appointed president of the election commission at the stage of self-determination, also appointed the Pakistani Mian Dia Al-Din member of the Governor-General commission.
Sudan-India diplomatic relations go back to pre-independence when its representative Kdawi began his work as a liaison officer on September 5, 1954. After establishment of the coalition government it was approved to exchange diplomatic representation with both India and Pakistan and to appoint a Plenipotentiary Minister for each. Finally, the Cabinet approved upon the memorandum of the foreign minister to unify the representation of Sudan in India and Pakistan in single diplomatic body. On Tuesday, October 16, 1956 the Sudan's Ambassador in India Mr. Rahmatullah Aballah presented his papers to the President of the Republic of India, on the other hand, the candidate India's ambassador to Sudan Mr. Sherry Mann submitted his credentials on Saturday, August 18, 1957 and for this occasion he gave a speech in which expressed his delight to be the first Indian ambassador in Sudan and wished that ties between the two countries to be strengthened. It was further decided the diplomatic exchanges with Japan which assigned to Mr. Rahmatullah Abdullah to represent Sudan in Japan in addition to his burden as an ambassador of Sudan in India. It was also decided to exchange diplomatic representation with Afghanistan without grades determination.

Diplomatic Crises:
The Nile Water Problem:
On May 7, 1929 on behalf of the Sudanese government, Britain signed the Nile water agreement with Egypt. The agreement was deemed unfair to Sudan by consensus, because it restricted the utilization of the water of the Nile to Sudan and hindered the implementation of agricultural projects and cast its shadow over Sudan's relations with Egypt after independence. In 1950, Sudan consumed his share of the Nile water under the 1929 agreement and entered into negotiations with Egypt on three issues:
1)    Elevate Sennar Dam by one meter up.
2)    Grant Egypt facilities to build a dam on the fourth waterfall near Marawi.
3)    Consider Sudan additional need for the Nile water.
These negotiations lasted for almost two years with no agreement until October 1952, when Egypt agreed to elevate Sennar Dam by one meter. After gaining autonomy and pursuant to the convention of the Nile water (1929), which prohibits Sudan from establishing any projects on the Nile or its tributaries without approval of Egypt, Sudan asked Egypt final approval on the construction of Roseires Dam. Upon the request of Sudan a meeting was held in Khartoum on April 5, 1954 between the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Mirghani Hamza and Undersecretary of the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works Dr. Mohammed Amin, in this meeting they discussed to modify 1929 agreement to increase Sudan's share of the water and the construction of Roseires Dam. After the end of the negotiations that led to nothing, the Sudanese government sent a letter to the Egyptian government in regard to its desire to implement Managil’s extension for Jazeera’s project and to expand irrigation by special pumps and to construct Roseires Dam and to adjust the 1929 agreement, the letter concluded with a proposal for a meeting between experts from the two sides. Upon the suggestion of Sudan three rounds of negotiations were held, two of them in Khartoum in 1954, and a third one in Cairo.
In April 1955, the two parties did not reach an agreement in account of their different views. In general, Sudan rejected linkage between construction of the Roseires Dam and the High Dam with disguised objection to be constructed and suggested to construct a series of small dams instead of Roseires Dam and to increase his share of the Nile water besides having the right to establish facilities on the Nile to take advantage of its share of water.
When the coalition government of Abdullah Khalil came to power in July 1956, at first it appeared tough on the issue of the Nile water and implementation of its projects, regardless of Egypt’s viewpoint. It was supposed to Compromise this problem because the Umma party, which heads the coalition government recognized the right of Egypt in the water under the gentleman agreement, which was signed with the Egyptian Revolution 1952. Sudan remained sticking to his point of view on the issue of the Nile water and the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Mirghani Hamza declared that Sudan's initial agreement to the establishment of the High Dam is based on three conditions:
1.    Sudan fair share of water.
2.    Right of Sudan to establish any facilities on the Nile to take advantage of its share.
3.    Provide means of stability and living conditions to the inhabitants of Halfa that will be submerged under water.
In October 1956, the Sudanese government sent a memorandum to the Egyptian government by its ambassador in Cairo, asking for quick accession to do Roseires Dam. Afterward, Sudan did not give the Nile water talks the same attention as before due to being preoccupied with urgent and vital issues such as USAID, the election, renewal for the parliament, currency and others. For these reasons, Egypt began complaining of a slowdown in the issue of the Nile water after Sudan was more rigorous in the past to claim it.
Egypt was not satisfied with the delay in resumption of negotiations on the Nile water so when Abdullah Khalil visited Egypt in October 1957 he held a meeting with Gamal Abdel Nasser and agreed to start negotiations immediately and to be signed after the election so the government which is supposed to sign it will be free of election or opposition that could exploit the results of the negotiations no matter what the positives are and to have a parliament to be in charge to approve it. Nasser agreed upon the proposal of the Prime Minister in respect to the Umma Party’s point of view. After about two months of that meeting, the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Mirghani Hamza flew to Cairo to resume negotiations but it did not differ much from the previous one and each party stuck to its viewpoint without give-and-take. Anyway, despite failure of the negotiations, each party knew the viewpoint of the other regarding the Nile water.
After the Nile water talks failed, a further deterioration in Egyptian-Sudanese relations took place in 1958. In February 1958 Egypt demanded sovereignty over Halayib triangle and Arjen. In July 1958, a crisis erupted between the two countries because of use of the Nile water to irrigate Managil’s extension. On 2nd of July irrigation authorities in Al-Samdan and without approval of Egypt began to block the Nile water in Sennar Dam to fill the main channel of the extension of Managil that happened before the date specified in the 1929 agreement which is July 16 of each year.
In July 9, 1958 Egypt submitted a memorandum to the Government of Sudan to stop raising the water level at Sennar Dam, because it violates Article "9" of the special procedures of operating the Nile water agreement, thus it violates the 1929 agreement. In an interview between Egyptian Interior Minister Zakaria Mohiuddin with the Sudanese ambassador to Egypt Youssef Mustafa Al-Tinae he explained that the issue of the Nile water threatens the relationship between the two countries and that the issue of Managil’s irrigation is one of the most serious things that Egypt must take a crucial decision about.
In August 19, 1958 the Government of Sudan responded with a diplomatic note which sent to Egypt through its embassy in Khartoum, the Sudanese government announced that under this note it is not binding to 1929 agreement because it concluded in 1929 between Britain and Egypt as part of a political bargaining without regard to the interests of Sudan. The note indicated that the Government of the Republic of Sudan used to negotiating with Egypt to reach a general agreement and a comprehensive settlement of all matters concerning the Nile water with the full cooperation and good spirit but all the efforts made by the Republic of Sudan in this regard were unsuccessful. The memo justified the Sudan’s step to block the water ahead of scheduled time in 1929 agreement "it is unreasonable that the Government of Sudan to disrupt the country's progress by stop farming in a project where it invested a huge amount of money and effort for years and have notified the United Arab Republic in advance". After the Sudanese government made it clear to proceed with the implementation of their projects without paying attention to Egypt’s need, they made it clear that it "wants genuinely to start negotiating over the Nile water in order to reach an agreement over interests of the two brotherly countries based on spirit of cooperation and goodwill”.
Egypt responded with a memorandum on September 4, 1958 in which it explained it doesn’t agree with Sudan’s viewpoint on the illegality of the 1929 agreement, also welcomed to start the Nile water negotiations based on the recognition of that convention. Sudan with a memorandum to Egypt handed over by the Sudanese Foreign Minister to Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Egypt reiterated the adherence of the Sudanese government not to recognize the Convention of 1929 and Sudan's desire to enter into negotiations from where they left off to reach a fair solution.
In his last visit to Ethiopia on October 29, 1958 Abdallah Khalil brought to an end the slightest chance in reaching a settlement over the Nile water issue in its bilateral framework between Egypt and Sudan, where before leaving Ethiopia he called all the countries which the Nile run across or gush out from to involve in its own negotiations. By this statement he gave, the Prime Minister almost forgot that even if it satisfied Ethiopia it will upset Egypt, that neither Ethiopia nor Uganda nor anyone else could threaten its acquired rights in the water of the Nile and possibly Sudan will be the first loser if the Nile water problem exceeded its bilateral character between Egypt and Sudan. In this statement, which reflects short-sightedness and a lack of strategic vision, the Prime Minister ruined a decision taken by the Council of Ministers that the Nile water negotiations is a matter for Egypt and Sudan alone. Perhaps, the failure to deal with the problem of the Nile water is one of the reasons that supported Egypt seeking to unite the Federal National Party and the People's Democratic Party, which increased the concerns of Abdallah Khalil towards Egypt and pushed him to hand over power to the military.

Halayib’s Problem:
Britain sought to set the borders of Sudan with Egypt in the first article of the Convention on January 19, 1899 known as the Convention of the Egyptian-Anglo condominium. Under the agreement, the word Sudan was given to all land located south of latitude 220 north. This line border is an astronomical line "starts from the west at a point located in the desert of Owaynat at the intersection of latitude 220 north, with a line of 240 east at the crossroads of the Egyptian-Sudanese-Libyan border and then extends east in a straight line until it reaches the Red Sea coast southern village of Halayib "
The borders of the 1899 Convention didn’t last due to the two amendments made by the Egyptian Interior Minister, which are:
First Amendment: Wadi Halfa’s protrusion.
Happened under the decision of the Egyptian Minister of Interior Mustafa Basha Fahmi on March 6, 1899. The aim was to make a partial modification of the boundary line in the town of Wadi Halfa, to go back away a bit to the north of the city so not deprive it of agricultural land, which lies to the north, and in order to facilitate the travel process for Sudanese coming through the deep port of Frs. Thus, the line moved in the form of a protrusion which included 4095 acres of Egyptian land on both sides of the Nile in favor of Sudan.
 Second Amendment: Halayib’s triangle and Bartazoja Mountain’s triangle:
A)    Halayib’s triangle: Halayib locates north of latitude 220 north, which forms the boundary between Egypt and Sudan by 1899 agreement. On November 4, 1902 the Minister of Interior issued a decision whereby Halayib’s triangle which is estimated of about 18 km, and in order to unify the management of tribal affairs and to gather Alpesharien with their main bloc inside Sudan, under the management of Sudanese government.
B)    Bartazoja’s triangle: this triangle created by a resolution of the Egyptian Minister of Interior on the same date November 4, 1902. It also made on the idea of unifying Alababida tribes that live south of latitude north 220 with their major bloc that live in Egypt. This area is located west Halayib triangle forming an enclave trapped inside the desert approximately an area of 1/9 of the area of the triangle of Halayib, since that date these areas belong to Sudan until independence.
The Beginning of the Crisis:
Apathy hit the Sudanese-Egyptian relations in the last year of the phase of self-government of Sudan because of moving towards independence and the dispute over the water of the Nile. In response to the decision of the Sudanese parliament on December 19, 1955 in which he declared the independence of Sudan, Egypt was the first country to recognize the independence of Sudan and sent the Prince Abdel Fattah Hassan to offer this recognition. In its speech of recognition Egypt asked "that the government of Sudan continue to care agreements and conventions that held by the States of bilateral administration on behalf of the Sudan, or agreed to be applied on Sudan".
Azhari responded that he would apply for the British and Egyptian states to determine those agreements and treaties they noted to in the application of recognition before being committed by them. Azhari sent letters to that effect to the British Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd and to the President Gamal Abdel Nasser in the third of January 1956 but did not receive the desired determination.
Egypt believed that signing of this agreement did not follow formal procedures and it occurred without documentation and its rules with no ratification, this does not detract it from its rights in the triangle of the crisis, but this may be raised the crisis for the following reasons:
1.    Fear of over-compensation for the land that will be flooded by dam to be built.
2.    Fear that Sudanese will overestimate their share of the Nile water when they discuss the renewal of the agreement.
3.    Egypt's fear of the American-Sudanese rapprochement after the government of Abdullah Khalil accepted the US aid, which may have led to the encirclement of the Egyptian revolution.
4.    The time was convenient to bother Sudan, where there was no parliament and Sudan was preparing for election to choose a new government.
The crisis began on the first of February 1958, when the Sudanese government received a note from the Egyptian government handed to the Permanent Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and dated on January 29, 1958 refers to the division of circles of the Sudanese Council of Representatives and demands them to take the necessary actions to deliver administration in the areas of Halayib’s triangle and Argin’s protrusion to the Egyptian administration, because that violates Egyptian sovereignty and the government of Sudan doesn’t have the right to include it within its constituencies. In the same note, Egypt expressed its willingness to hand Bartazoja area over to Sudan, which already carved out of Sudan and were added to Egypt when modifying the border between the two countries after a short duration of conquest.
In the third of February, ambassador of Egypt handed the prime minister another Egyptian note dated February 9, 1958 declares that the Republic of Egypt, on the occasion of the referendum on the presidency of the republic to elect its president on February 21, as a part of its prescribed powers and pursuant to voters in the two areas must be entitled to vote freely in this referendum and he demanded for response.
On February 6, 1958 just three days after the meeting the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the Sudanese ambassador in Egypt, that the Egyptian government sent election committees along with guards of frontier to the area claimed by Egypt in order to hold the referendum and that they would be in the places designated for them on the date specified for the referendum which is February 21, 1958.
The Cabinet met on February 17, 1958 to study the situation. Having reviewed the subject in all its aspects, he saw to take actions that preserve Sudan's sovereignty over its territory and to maintain its independence. But at the same time to preserve the links between the two countries and to create a room for sympathetic understanding. The Council of Ministers also decided to take the following steps:
1.    Contact the President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser to stop actions taken by Egypt with Sudan's willingness to enter into negotiations with Egypt on the matter.
2.    Notify Opposition over the details of the situation.
3.    Inform the Arab League and representatives of the Arab States in Khartoum and the Sudanese public opinion.
After the failure of diplomatic efforts to contain the situation, keen to privacy relationship with Egypt the Government of Sudan decided to send the Foreign Minister Mohamed Ahmed Mahjoub to Cairo to meet with the President Gamal Abdel Nasser with request to postpone the discussion on this topic until after the Sudanese election. In Egypt, the Foreign Minister met with Nasser and senior Egyptian officials and he showed through these talks, Sudan's determination not to compromise on any inch of territory in dispute. He asked the Egyptian government to respond to the request of Sudan and postpone discussions on this matter until after the election and formation of the new government and assured the Egyptian government that if they agreed to hold the Sudanese elections in the disputed areas, the Government of Sudan is prepared to issue a written pledge that they will not use the election procedures as evidence to support its point of view in the dispute.
These talks took place in an inappropriate atmosphere where Zakaria Mohiuddin was rigid and nervous. During these talks, each party tried to prove their eligibility of conflict zones and Al-Mahjoub protested with the following:
1.    Territories that claimed by Egypt are part of the Republic of Sudan, as confirmed by the Interim Constitution.
2.    For more than fifty years these areas were under the sovereignty of the government of Sudan and the people there enjoyed sponsoring and protecting.
3.    The Agreement of February 12, 1958 included the Interim Constitution, and that the constituencies, which included the distribution of the disputed areas is part of the Constitution. It must be remembered that the 1953 agreement carried out under the auspices of the Governor-General and Egypt was a member. The election of the first parliament as set it in the Constitution was supervised and conducted by the International Commission of Election where Egypt was a member. At that time, Egypt did not oppose the inclusion of the disputed areas in the Sudanese constituencies.
Egypt responded to the Sudan’s protest, saying that the reason behind not claiming the disputed areas when signing the 1953 agreement, is that the Convention has given a chance for Sudan to become an independent state or union with Egypt, and that Egypt hoped that Sudan will choose the second option.

Halayib in the Security Council:
The Foreign Minister talks in Cairo Reflected Egypt's intransigence on this issue, and at the same time the government of Sudan is ready to reach a peaceful solution through negotiations. On the other hand, it showed Sudan’s hope that Egypt might understand the circumstances of Sudan because they are responsible for raising this issue and gave Sudan a little time to study them.
The Foreign Minister had prepared a complaint before leaving Khartoum, addressed to the UN Security Council and instructed not to be broadcasted only after talks fail. On the evening of February 19 1958 after reaching the talks to a dead-end, he sent the complaint he prepared in Khartoum to the Sudan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Jacob Osman and in the twentieth of February Sudan submitted his complaint to the Security Council.
The Security Council met on February 21, 1958 to discuss Sudan's complaint and before discussing it, the Representative of Egypt to the United Nations Omar Latif recited the press release that the Egyptian government issued on February 21, 1958, the statement proclaimed the acceptance to postpone the issue borders until the end of the Sudanese election. The Egyptian government took this decision after receiving a letters from Mr. Ali Mirghani, Ismail al-Azhari and from the Sudanese parties and organizations demanded to cut the road in front of malevolent and colonial circles and resolve the issue in a friendly way.
Halayib’s problem reinforced the strength and cohesion of the internal front, therefore, all parties and bodies coalesced without exception in support of Sudan's right and the steps taken through diplomatic channels to solve it. Not this only, but a national committee from all parties, bodies and groups was formed and issued a statement that addressed the Government of Sudan and Nasser expressing its dissatisfaction with the approach that Egypt followed to resolve the crisis and asked them to accept the proposal of Sudan to withdraw Egyptian forces from Sudanese territory and to hold elections in the disputed areas. Perhaps, what is impressive is the firm and supporting stand followed by parties with closed relation with Egypt, such as the Federal National Party and the People's Democratic Party, where they stood by the government's position and issued their statements and confirmed their adherence of the Sudanese land and its support to the Sudanese government and to resolve the issue through negotiations and that law and international custom is the arbiter.

One of the biggest challenges that faced the independent Sudan is a matter of building balanced foreign relations through which Sudan takes its rightful place among nations and become an active member of the international community and to join its international economic institutions to take advantage of them to finance development projects. Features of Sudan's foreign policy began taking shape before its independence, particularly since his participation in the Bandung Conference in Indonesia in April 1955. After independence and as expected Sudan adopted the non-aligned policy between the Western and Eastern blocs and aligned to Arab and African issues also joined the regional and international organizations such as the League of Arab States and the Organization of the United Nations. In this context, the Sudanese ministry of foreign affairs was established by Sudanese effort and a Sudanese diplomatic corps from the qualified Sudanese personnel from various disciplines. In July 1956, the Sudanese diplomatic representation was launched with whole world countries and its Arab and African surroundings, so it was a beginning of a journey of foreign relations that has been going so far.

1.    The establishment of the Sudanese foreign relations was purely national effort and at the hands of the people of Sudan.
2.    The principles of Sudan's foreign policy came reflecting of what was going on in the Arab and African surroundings.
3.    Since the beginning Sudan aligned himself to the issues of the Arab homeland and the African continent.
4.    Since the beginning Sudan was aware of the importance of being balanced in its relations with the East and West, so won trust of both blocs.

1.    Conduct further studies on Sudan's foreign relations.
2.    Benefit from Sudan past experience in the current foreign relations of Sudan.

Study References:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Project of Re-Developing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, without date, P.2.
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Saturday 10th of November 2008, issue no. 4005.
Khaleefa Abbas Al-Ebeid, Ashtat Al-Zikrayat for A Period of Time More Than 80 Years, Through Life, First Print, Mohamed Omer Basheer Center for Sudanese Studies, P.149, 2004, Omdorman.
Khaleefa Abbas Al-Ebeid, Ibid, P. 149
Khaleefa Abbas Al-Ebeid, Ibid, P. 151
Ibid, P.170
Ibid, P.171
A summary of the deliberations of the Parliament, Session no. 125, Tuesday 7th Jan 1956
A summary of the deliberations of the Parliament, Session no. 125, Tuesday 7th Jan 1956
Khaleefa Abbas Al-Ebeid, Ibid, P.125
Khaleefa Abbas Al-Ebeid, Ibid, P.180
Al-Ayam Newspaper, Monday 17th Sep. 1956, issue. 890
Basheer Mohamed Saeed, Al-Zaeem Al-Azhari and His Era, Modern Cairo for Printing, first print, Cairo, 1990, P. 307
A summary of the deliberations of the Parliament, Session no. 54, Monday 24 Jan 1956
Mohamed Ahmed Al-Mahjoub, Al-Demoqratrya Fi Al-Meizan, 1072-1073, University of Khartoum Press, first print.
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Wednesday 10th of Aug. 1956, issue no. 3390.
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Wednesday 10th of Aug. 1956, issue no. 3390.
A summary of the deliberations of the Parliament, Session no 67, Tuesday 21 May 1957
P. 1477
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Wednesday 6 Aug. 1956, issue no. 1477
A summary of the deliberations of the Parliament, Session no. 128, Tuesday 17 Jan 1956
Ibid, session no. 129
Ibid. P.20, 5 Feb 1956, Session no. 283
Ibid. P.20, 5 Feb 1956, Session no. 131
Ibid. P.129
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Tuesday 7 of Feb. 1956, issue no. 3342.
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Tuesday 7 of Feb. 1956, issue no. 3342.
Ibid, Wednesday 14 Nov. 1956, issue no. 3478
Al-Sudan Al-Jadeed Newspaper, Sunday 17 Sep. 1956, issue no. 2902
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Sunday 6 of Jan. 1957, issue no. 3523
A summary of the deliberations of the Parliament, Session no 127, 17 Jan. 1956,
Khaleefa Abbas Al-Ebeid, Ibid, P.126 P. 171
Ibid, P.127
A summary of the deliberations of the Parliament, Session no 7, P. 127, 17 Jan 1956
Ibid, P. 127
Ibid P. 157
Sawt Al-Sudan Newspaper, Tuesday 31 July 1956, issue no. 4607
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Tuesday 26 of March 1957, issue no. 3590
Khaleefa Abbas Al-Ebeid, Ibid, P.181
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Wednesday 17 of Oct. 1956, issue no. 3455.
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Wednesday 30 of Oct. 1956, issue no. 3597.
Khaleefa Abbas Al-Ebeid, Ibid, P.191
Khaleefa Abbas Al-Ebeid, Ibid, P.191
Ibid, P. 194
Ibid, P. 181
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Thursday 2 of Aug. 1956, issue no. 3391
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Wednesday 5 of Aug. 1956, issue no. 3491
Ibid, Wednesday 17 Oct. 1956, issue no. 3655
Al-Sudan Al-Jadeed, Monday 25 March 1957, issue no. 3036
Al-Ayam Newspaper, 2 Oct. 1956, issue no. 901
Khaleefa Abbas Al-Ebeid, Ibid, P.181
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Sunday 5 Aug. 1956, issue no. 3394
Al-Sudan Al-Jadeed, Sunday 5 Aug. 1956, issue no. 2868
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, Wednesday 17 Oct. 1956, issue no. 3455
Ibid, Sunday 18 Aug. 1957, issue no. 3706
Ibid, Friday 17 May 1957, issue no. 3630
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, Abdalkareem Al-Merghani Cultural Center, Omdorman, frirst print, P.44, 2005
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, P.55
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, P. 76
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, P. 56
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, P. 58
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, P. 53
Al-Raey Al'Aam, 19 Aug. 1956, issue no. 3405
Alneel Newspaper, 1 Oct. 1956, issue no. 10088
Al-Sudan Al-Jadeed, 29 Dec. 1956, issue no. 3517
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, 9 Oct. 1957, issue no. 3750
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, 28 Dec. 1957, issue no. 3818
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, P. 91
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, P. 91
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, P. 91
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, P. 91
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, P. 120
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, P. 120
Faisal Abdalrahman Ali Taha, Water of the Nile, Historical and Legal Context, P. 120
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, 7 Sep. 1958 issue no. 4030
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, 10 Sep. 1958, issue no. 4034
Al-Raey Al'Aam, Newspaper, 20 Oct. 1958 issue no. 1497
Al-Ayam Newspaper, 29 Oct. 1958, issue no. 1520
Al-Ayam Newspaper, 6 Nov. 1958, issue no. 1524
Abdalazeem Ramadan, Sudanese-Egyptian Through History, Egyptian Directorate of Books, Cairo, 1999, first print P.424
Ibid, P.436
Ibid, P. 427
Basheer Mohamed Saeed, Al-Zaeem Al-Azhari and His Era, Modern Cairo for Printing, first print, Cairo, 1990, P. 301
Mohamed Ahmed Al-Mahjoub, Ibid, P.60
Basheer Mohamed Saeed, Ibid, P.303
Faisal Abdalrahman Taha, Halayeb and Haneesh, Articls in General International Law, Abdalkareem Merghani Cultural Center, Omdorman, first print, 2000, P.111
Ali Abdallah Khairy, Halayeb - How Did the Issue Began? Sudan Modern Publishing House, Khartoum,  first print, 2008, P.2
Faisal Abdalrahman Taha, Halayeb and Haneesh, P.81
Sawt Al-Sudan Newspaper, 18 Feb. 1958, issue no. 5069
Ali Abdallah Khairy, Ibid, P.27
Ibid, P.34
Faisal Abdalrahman Taha, Halayeb and Haneesh, P.85
Ali Abdallah Khairy, Ibid, P.35
Ibid, P.35
Mohamed Ahmed Al-Mahjoub, Ibid, P.181
Ibid, P.180
Ali Abdallah Khairy, Ibid, P.31
Basheer Mohamed Saeed, Ibid, P. 327
Ali Abdallah Khairy, Ibid, P.60
Ibid, P.60
Basheer Mohamed Saeed, Ibid, P.336


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