An Atlas of African Affairs

By Andrew Boyd; Patrick Van Rensburg | Go to book overview

7. Suez-Sinai Conflict, 1956

In July 1956, after America and Britain had withdrawn their offers to help finance Egypt's Aswan dam project (8), President Nasser of Egypt summarily expropriated the Suez Canal Company (6). He promised to respect the 1888 convention guaranteeing free passage, but this promise was not trusted by the main canal users, partly because Egypt was already barring the canal to ships bound to or from Israel, with which it claimed to be still at war, in spite of the armistices that had ended the 1948-9 Palestine conflict. In September Egypt rejected an 18-nation proposal for an international régime for the canal.

In October Egypt, Syria and Jordan set up a joint military command aimed against Israel, which was also being both blockaded by all its Arab neighbours and harassed by raids across its borders. On October 29th the Israelis invaded Sinai, routing the Egyptian army, capturing many of the tanks and other arms that Egypt had lately bought from Russia, and swiftly advancing to points near the Suez Canal. Britain and France demanded that both belligerents cease fire and allow them to occupy key places along the canal. Egypt refused, and on November 5th British and French troops seized Port Said. Egypt blocked the canal by sinking ships in it. Only a few hours after the Port Said landing all four parties ceased fire. The United Nations Assembly demanded almost unanimously that Britain, France and Israel withdraw from Egyptian soil, and an international UN force (F) was sent to the canal and Sinai to help prevent further conflict. The British and French withdrew in December, the Israelis from most of Sinai in January, from the Gaza strip and the Gulf of Aqaba coast in March 1957. By April the UN had cleared the canal and it was in use again, and the UN force was stationed around Gaza, along the border line southward to Eilat, and near Sharm el Sheikh, at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, from which point Egypt had been blockading the Israeli sea route from Eilat southward.

In 1961 the UN force was still guarding the border, and had prevented both border raids and the blockading of Eilat. But Israeli cargoes were still barred from the Suez Canal.

-60-

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An Atlas of African Affairs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Foreword 7
  • A. Population 10
  • B. Regions and Barriers 12
  • C. Languages and Peoples 14
  • D. European and Asian Settlement 20
  • E. 'Pre-European' History 22
  • F. Europeans on the Coast 24
  • G. the European 'scramble' 26
  • H. the New Political Map 28
  • I. British and French Heritages 30
  • J. United Nations Activity 32
  • K. Pan-Africanism and Regional Unity 34
  • L. Africa Overseas 36
  • M. Education 38
  • N. Health and Pests 40
  • O. Minerals 42
  • P. Transport 44
  • Q. Power, Development And Research 46
  • 1. the Maghreb 48
  • 2. Morocco and Mauritania 50
  • 3. Algeria 52
  • 4. Tunisia and Libya 54
  • 5. Egypt and Its Neighbours 57
  • 6. Suez Canal 58
  • 7. Suez-Sinai Conflict, 1956 60
  • 8. the Nile 62
  • 9. Egypt 64
  • 10. the Sudan 66
  • 11. Ethiopia 68
  • 12. the Somalis 70
  • 13. West Africa 72
  • 14. Ex-French Africa 74
  • 15. Ex-French West Africa 76
  • 16. 'Equatorial' Africa 78
  • 17. Commonwealth West Africa 80
  • 18- Senegambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia 82
  • 19. Ghana and Its Neighbours 84
  • 20. Nigeria 86
  • 21. Cameroons 88
  • 22. Two Congos 90
  • 23. Post-Belgian Congo 92
  • 24. Lower Congo 94
  • 25. Between the Lakes 96
  • 26. Ruanda-Urundi 98
  • 27. British East and Central Africa 100
  • 28. Uganda 102
  • 29. Kenya 104
  • 30. Tanganyika and Zanzibar 106
  • 31. the Rhodesias 108
  • 32. Katanga and Copperbelt 110
  • 33. Nyasaland 112
  • 34. Angola and Mozambique 114
  • 35. Malagasy (madagascar) 116
  • 36. South Africa and Its Neighbours 118
  • 37. Protectorates and S.W. Africa 120
  • 38. Eastern South Africa 122
  • Index 125
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