Hala'ib Triangle,roughly triangular disputed territory, c.7,950 sq mi (20,590 sq km), along the Egypt-Sudan border, on the Red Sea coast. Claimed by Egypt and Sudan, and under the de facto control of Egypt, it is named for the town of Halayeb, which is located there. The area is generally hot and dry, with a somewhat milder and wetter climate near the coast. The highest peak is Mount Shendib, 6,270 ft (1,911 m); Egypt's Gebel Elba National Park includes most of the triangle. The small population consists of nomadic herdsman; there is little economic activity.
The territorial dispute arises out of the discrepancy between the political boundary set by the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium Agreement of 1899, which runs along the 22d parallel, and the administrative boundary established by the British in 1902, which assigned the area of Halayeb Triangle, which is north of the 22d parallel, to Sudanese administration. (At the time Great Britain controlled both Egypt and Sudan.) When Sudan became independent in 1956, it defined its borders according to the 1902 boundary while Egypt adhered to the 1899 boundary. In 1958, when Sudan planned to hold elections in the area, Egypt sent in troops, but subsequently the territory was jointly controlled. Sudan's plans for oil exploration off the area's coast led to tensions in the 1990s, and oil exploration was not undertaken. In 2000 Sudan withdrew all forces area, ceding de facto control to Egypt, but Sudan continues to claim the territory.