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North, south Sudan reach “preliminary” deal to share Nile water after referendum, minister


November 28, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – North and South Sudan have struck a preliminary agreement to share Nile waters if the latter becomes fully independent as expected in a referendum vote set to take place in January 2011.

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Nile river - convergence of White and Blue Nile in Al-Mugran, Khartoum

The disclosure was made on Sunday by Sudan’s state minister for irrigation and water resources, Salah Yousif, who told the privately owned Al-Akhbar daily newspaper that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in north Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the south had reached a “preliminary” agreement to continue sharing Nile Waters in the case of south Sudan secession.

South Sudan is widely expected to become a fully independent state when its citizens go to the polls in January 2011 to vote in a referendum promised under the 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war between north and south Sudan.

The two sides have been engaged in talks with little progress over a host of post-referendum issues, including security, citizenship, oil and water resources, currency matters, assets and liabilities and international treaties and agreements.

According to the minister, continued cooperation on water sharing would be governed by the agreed quotas in the permanent body of the Nile Basin Initiative, which was established in 1999 to enhance cooperation between Nile basin countries.

The minister further disclosed that the shares would be used to carry out projects agreed upon between the north and the south.

A decade of negotiations between the ninth countries of the Nile Basin to re-allocate shares of the Nile water has gone to no avail. Failure to reach an agreement has sparked controversy between the seven upstream states on one side, including Ethiopia which produces some 85 percent of the Nile Water, and Sudan and Egypt on the other.

Under a colonial time treaty, Sudan and Egypt are granted full utilization of the Nile Water, with Egypt receiving the lion share of 55.5 billion cubic meters a year and Sudan a quarter of the Nile’s total flow of around 84 billion cubic meters.


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  • 29 November 2010 04:30, by LL Reuben

    The obvious, sure how about the Abyei?

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  • 29 November 2010 04:39, by Young Nation

    Dear Northerners

    This is one of the best and smartest move North Sudan has ever taken. This particular agreement makes Northern Sudanese political elites understand that South Sudan has become an independent entity.

    Please Northern Sudan, practice such wisdom and go ahead with the facilitatation of the issue of Abyei and other outstanding post referendum arrangement as soon as possible. Any Northern Sudanese who does not believe the succession of the South from the north must be suffering from typical ignorance.

    Young Nation is a Student of International Relations at The University of Queensland, Australia.

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    • 29 November 2010 05:36, by Daniel Khot Duoth

      Dear:Norther and Southern, this is not something we should talk about right now. we have to see what is going to happening between North and South Sudan. According to what I know so far there is no way people can share everything between two states.I believe that south will benefit by itself a lone and also North itself a lone too. We are going to become totally different countries soon at the end of January. In fact, we all need to keep in mind that there will be no need for Sudan as whole as usual. If you have no anything you can depend on it will be your own problem without South Sudan. By Daniel Khoat Duoth

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      • 29 November 2010 08:36, by Diu J.Kuek

        Mr D.Khot Duoth you are right in your comment completely nothing call sharing by the two Independent States otherwise one will take advantage over the other,
        okey we can talk about post Referendum arrangement as a issues been mentioned before,but can not work for more than 6 Months from the date of Indepndent of South Sudan ,
        our natural resources its gift by the nature to us ,

        Diu Jieth Kuek

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  • 29 November 2010 18:42, by Tambura

    South Sudan is not country yet, this kind of agreement we don’t need it right now. North Sudan build biggest second dam in Africa can splay power to every
    City in Sudan but south Sudan got nothing from that dam, we don’t have to be fools like them when Egyptian build Aswan Dam sink many cities in north Sudan many people lost their houses but got nothing. We have to be careful when we deal with these people, they will never want the best for us. We need to build biggest Dam in nearest future will splay power to every city and village in south Sudan. We should sell them water or take Turkey example to deal with them when its come to Nile....

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  • 29 November 2010 19:00, by Rambang

    SPLM should take care signing these dubious. We may end up in a situation like what the other Nile basin members are facing from Egypt and Sudan at the moment. Plus, SPLM should insist on signing deals on important matters first like the Abyei. The water pass through the South and is the North that need it most, so it could have been a secret weapon to beat them one day.

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