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South Sudan president discusses Jonglei canal project with Egyptian officials

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February 12, 2008 (CAIRO) — Sudan’s First Vice President and president of South Sudan Salva Kiir discussed with Egyptian official the prospects of resuming work in the Jonglei canal.

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Salva Kiir (right) greeted by Egyptian Prime minister Ahmed Nazeef. (AP)

The Egyptian Prime minister Ahmed Nazeef told reporters after his meeting with Kiir that the Jonglei canal project “is on the agenda of the supreme committee between the two countries”.

The Jonglei Canal, started in 1980, is a hydro-construction project in Upper Nile Province of southern Sudan designed to alter the course of the White Nile as it passes through a swampy area in southern Sudan known as the Sudd.

According to Egyptian officials, the purpose of the canal was to ensure the flow of 4.7 billion cubic meters of water annually, to be equally distributed between Egypt and Sudan. However the canal project was put to a halt in 1983 following the outbreak of the North-South civil war.

However it is not clear if the Egyptians or Sudanese are willing to go forward with a project that sparked a great deal of controversy among southerners who say that the canal will cause environmental damage as well as displacement.

Nazeef said that there is an agreement between Egypt and Sudan to reassess the project before noting that it needs “significant financial resources”.

The Egyptian premier reaffirmed his country’s commitment to assisting in the development projects particularly in Southern Sudan.

Kiir on his end hailed Cairo’s positive role in Sudan and said that he asked Nazeef to encourage Egyptian businessmen to invest in Southern Sudan.

The SPLM leader started a two-day visit to Cairo that focuses on the Egyptian role in the reconstruction projects in the South. The Southern leader will meet the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak today before flying back home.

(ST)

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  • 13 February 2008 05:05, by Peter Reat Gatkuoth

    Egyptian were interested only on water of sudd than serving its people. You ain’t pass the project through Jonglei. You must find the other ways of getting the sudd water. Don’t you remember how badly you kill and tortured the people of sudan last two years. Let our independent come first. We will close you off from this mother Nile’s water. NO Peace with egyptian any more.

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    • 13 February 2008 05:47, by Deng Thiak Adut

      Well said brother...Kiir is smart enough to know that the project is a mere sham to get the water from the sudd...we cant accept anything from Egypt as assurance. The fact is that, diversion of the water only affect three communities in the south. the Bor, the Nuer and the Shilluk or Anuak. These communities have the ultimate says in the water other than the GOSS itself. I hope Riak Machar will not agree even if Kiir say yes.

      This is the boiling point.....

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    • 13 February 2008 06:17, by Jur_likang a likan’g

      Now we can clearly see where Egypt stands. With their cosmetic aid, they want big from us irrespective of the damage this project can cause to our fauna and flora. They think they are there to suck our blood because we are amateurish in politics and love little our homeland.

      While their cousins in the North are busy constructing environment friendly power plant in the north, they are passing on cheap fossil fuel power plants to South Sudan that will increase the destruction of our environment. Their scholarship program to Southern Sudan in nothing compared to what they want from South Sudan.

      This issue is too big for Kiir alone to tackle. I suppose Kiir should tread on this cautiously. Advice from the public is recommendable.

      Kiir should instead discuss with them the construction of hydro-electric power plant on the nile in South Sudan. Stand for our interest because this is what made him go to Bilpam.

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  • 13 February 2008 05:37, by Mr Famous Big_Logic_Boy

    Its development of jonglei or SS people i can see that de editor might be adding his own errors when presenting an article,well i beleive this connection btn Arabs and SS will result to future complain if not lets wait,because Goss is trying to nonminate Arabs as world super power in terms of development while forgetting the policy of Arabs,Good go on your way and be prepared to invesgate tomorrow’s challenges.

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  • 13 February 2008 05:50, by Moses Kuocgoor

    I too disagree with the Egyptian Prime minister Ahmed Nazeef for bringing up the fundamentalist basic caused of civil war in Southern Sudan. This is not our President’s intention to visit Egypt. The issue of Jonglei Canal could not easily be discussed while standing in the Airport. The Jonglei canal causes the Southern Sudanese problem in term of drought that leads to death of people, livestock and crops.

    Therefore it is the issue in which the Southerners should understand before accepting the project. This canal is not going to benefit us since it will drain all water in all tributaries in Southern Sudan leaving us with poverty. It is one way of shutting up in Sudan. If our late Dr. John Garang knew that canal project would benefit us he would have not fought for twenty-two years.

    I wonder if the Prime understood what caused the civil in which we had stopped the canal project. The waters are our traditional revenues. They help us in every aspect of life. This is where the Southerners are strong. If we allow this propaganda policy to claim its power over resuming the canal project, then, it is better to quit Egypt manual relationship.

    The Egyptians want us to fail the war of hearts and mind in Sudan. There is no resumption of Jonglei Canal, but to who plotted this project are needed to come and level it down again. I am proud that our President will be guided by our almighty God to comprehend fraud policy that comes his way.

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  • 13 February 2008 05:56, by Yong Kuai

    The issue about Resumption of Jonglei Canal project have been repetitive in the news over the last two years, but what Salva Kiir need to do is to be very careful about resumption of this massive project.

    The leadership of Southern Sudan should never let themselves be blindfold by the "so call development of Southern Sudan". I know we are far behind the development of the country but a country where it citizens survive of organic foods can never be compared with developed Nations where people depend on genetically modified foods.

    Anyway, my point here is about the resumption of Jonglei Canal Project. The Egyptian are very clever, they promised building hospitals and opening branch of Alexandria University in Southern Sudan just for the sake of fooling us in order to give them a flow of water from the Sudd.

    There is no benefit that we will get from this project, we will lost water that has ended up in the Sudd, birds and fish species that are commonly found in the Sudd will be lost. What "the hell" are we getting out of this project.

    Let me remind you of what Egyptian and Chinese have done to the poorest Nations like us and Loas in Asia. Eygptian and Chinese are the only countries who have created dams along the greatest rivers of Nile and Mekong and of course they are the last countries where these rivers ended. The sources of these waters are somewhere else but they control them.This what they assumed as cleverness when people enter into transnational water treaties negotiation.

    Salva Kiir should never forget that he has signed a document with the international environment body (UNEP) to help us manage the Sudd. The Sudd is international listed as "Ramsar" world inheritage wetlands. Salva Kiir will either go to international court of Environmental protection he endengered these species by allowing the project to go ahead without UNEP consultation or he will regret what has done to us if Egyptian ended up exploited our resources without concrete development in Southern Sudan which everything is based upon.

    Yong Kuai is B Soc Sc (Environment) Graduate working for Environment Consultancy Firm in Melbourne

    Now

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    • 13 February 2008 08:30, by Madingbor is beautiful

      What???? I think it would be better for Slava Kiir to stop visiting Egypt. I mean what good are they doing anyway to Sudan, the kick out refugees and kill some every day and night. The Eyptians have no respect for humanity, this so Canal that they are trying to build in Jonglei is not a good news. I know where it is located in Bor, we have white Nile in Jonglei, we don’t need man made rivers or canals. Brothers and sisters from Jonglei, remember that there is no an arab person or a country that ever does anything. Out of love. They may present it as a good thing for their country and our country but it is actually for their own good. Kiir will not accept such a thing otherwise, he will fight the next war alone. I will not!!!

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  • 13 February 2008 08:47, by Magiir Kenyang

    Well, President Kiir and his GOSS must be cautioned in all rush in opening up every resources in the land (South). Why are we so much always in hurry???

    Year 2012 is better timing (after CPA) to assess and reassess our resources.

    Not only should Jonglei Canal’s soil which was dug out be redumped, but all these talks and discussions must be put out of horizon.

    There is no way our blessed water with fish that fed so many generations of fathers be drained to Egypt and leaving us with dry swamps or other current green and moist areas which are essential for animals and people.

    Even South’s heavy rains and overall climate would be affected.

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  • 13 February 2008 09:29, by Manyang

    I advise GOSS leadership not to be politically blindfolded by little aid offered by egyptians government as a bait to lured it into accepting this greedy project. By Manyang Deng

    The visit of our president Salva Kiir Mayardit to the Eqyptians capital was really controversial if he was only going to discuss the resumption of Jonglei canal. I have seen the leadership in Juba is much interested in the resumption of this controversial project. This is shown by the frequent visit by our leaders to Cairo. When our leaders visit Cairo, there is always a mentioning of Jonglei canal project by Egyptians leadership. This kind of betrayal by our leadership is unprecedented. I do not think the masses in the south are with you.

    When the Jonglei canal project was launched in 1982 the people concerned were not consulted. The regime in Kartoum at the time and Egyptians government agreed on the terms of the project without considering the negative impacts of the projects on local people in the south. They acted as if there were no people in the south who were to be affected by their greedy project. This time, I advice my government in the south not to betray our suffering people of the south. There must be a referendum on this issue if there is really a need of allowing this project to go ahead.
    The people who are now affected by this project must be consulted because they are the one experiencing the consequences of this foolishly accessed project.

    I advise GOSS leadership not to be politically blindfolded by little aid offered by egyptians government as a bait to lured it into accepting this greedy project. Few scholarship positions and few electricity plants offered by Cairo can not deter us from defending our rights. If Cairo is sincere about helping people in the south let it invest in other areas, such agriculture, roads, rails, hospitals and the like. This may build trust between our two countries rather than harming our relationship by pursuing this greedy project. Cairo must also apologize for having started this controversial project without consulting the people concern. The very people Cairo ignored, are the real people of the land and have now grown to defend their rights even if come rain or sun shine.

    For GOSS leadership to be aware of the impacts of this greedy project, let it send it team of experts to the areas affected. This will give GOSS an insight into how controversial this greedy projects is. Our president must also pay visit to the areas affected by the canal so that he can be aware of what he always discuss with Egyptians leaders. In my view, GOSS must concentrate on ensuring that CPA is implemented fully rather than engaging in harnful projects like Jonglei canal. I hope Jonglei canal would not be approved by our generation who had seen the negative impacts of this greedy project first hand. I came from the area which is suffering from the wounds caused by this very project.

    The author of this comment know exactly where the big crane that excavated the Jonglei canal is.

    Long live the coalition against Jonglei canal!

    By Manyang Deng <manyangoo@yahoo.coma.au>

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  • 13 February 2008 10:04, by Jur_likang a likan’g

    Jonglei canal in the horizon again !! God save us.

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    • 13 February 2008 11:19, by Trueson of Southerner

      President Kiir shuold not killed his trust from his fellow followers in the South by resuming the issues that caused the war between the Arab north and South which have lasted more than two decades.
      Jonglei Canal was not possible at this crucial time to be debate with Arabs.we don’t want the present of Arabs in Sudan, leave alone seeking for more friendship with Arabs.Arabs is an Arabs.my advice to you is that,you have to liminate your visit to the Arabs countries,otherwise you would stopped after danger to your own risks.

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      • 13 February 2008 15:38, by Mark Omina

        Comrades, the issue of resuming Jongolei Canal should remain as a dream in the minds of Egyptians, but should not come as a reality. We should never be lured by the Egyptian sweet talks of bringing development to South Sudan, why only by digging the Jongolei canal that they want to bring development. There are many projects to start in south Sudan, President Salva Kiir has clearly mentioned it that let egyprians come to do business to invest in South Sudan, yes come to do that but the business of the Jongolei Canal.

        Comrade President Salva, you are our hiro, if Egyptians want to resume the Jongolei Canal Project, please tell them to ask South opinion of Southern Sudanese. Yes they may speak to you as the father of the nation, but you refer them to Southern masses, because it is not your decision to say yes or not.

        Let Egyptians go away with their un substnative plans, we sothern Sudanese say NO! and NO! and NO! for the revival of the Jongolei canal. We don’t even need the Egyptian plans to install for their electrical powers using generators that will not last as it is planned to to be installed in Wau, Rumbek and Bor.

        his is just a muzzle our faces that they have given us power, will they continue to run those generators and meet all the expenses. We need our hydro elecric power to be installed not generators, there should excuse created to divert our Sudd region waters, we will fight to end never to allow any project in Jongolei to go a head.

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        • 13 February 2008 17:49, by Ben-Fu

          Let not sell our God given heritage
          The Jonglei Canal project will threaten lives of more than 100 000 000 Africans, not three communities in Southern Sudan. The old English concubine Egypt has learned the their style of setting fishing net and goes home to sleep while the net bloom with wealthy. When this Canal is finished, Egypt will be much richer and the rest of us, real black Africans will suffer a great deal of misery. I say leave the land in it natural way, this Canal idea is not good for every ones but to Egypt only.

          Ben_Fu Dagger2

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        • 13 February 2008 17:54, by BIAR PETER AYUEN AGUEK

          It is a very interesting topic

          The government of Southern Sudan is a government of the people hence they have the right to be consulted over the resources. The first thing our president should do is to come back to his assembly to have discussion over such an issue and then to make consultation seeking the view from indegineous people of South Sudan. And the worse of it, is when he decide on his own and the civil population reject the idea, it will be a shame on him.
          In other way round, he deserve the right of presidency but should be well understood in a sense that when he preach the advantages that will be accompanying the project to the local people, beside that nothing else needed from God given resources rathar than development, my advice to the President is to come back without any promise to the Egyptian government then extend the idea to his cabinets and the assembly then finally to the local inhabitants.

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  • 13 February 2008 18:16, by Pete

    I just wanted to thank each of you who have given up their precious time to comments on this boiling topic. You guys have input a very tremendous points and I hope GOSS officials can read your comments. What else can I say? Each of you has pointed out a very crucial point.

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  • 14 February 2008 00:59, by Majok e Deng

    Jonglei canal was a scam and the Eyptian shouldn’t dare repeating it. It was halted militarily by the partriotic Southern Sudanese revolutionaries. Such project should be decided by the Southern Sudanese not dubious Eygptians officials who sporadically abuse our fellow Southern Sudanese in Eygpt. The talks about Jonglei Canal must stop.

    Majok e Deng

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    • 14 February 2008 03:28, by Deng Thiak Adut

      Wow!This issue brought unity to all southern sudanese. This is basically no go zone for Mr Kiir.

      This project could be traced back to 1970s, and there was three agreement
      the first was initial Eygptian project, second was Sudanese/Eygptian project, then the last was Sudanese project with Eygptian influence. All these agreement were examines but there was no conclusive threats poses by them. some writers had acknowledge the environmental and social distructions would not be faraway, others simply are motivate by their ego.
      My opinion, is that Eygpt should not be allow to do any business with the south.

      simple alteration of the Nile natural flows could cause environmental problem, in terms of human life or aquatic life. this is prima facie, and the problems are not far-fetch.
      NO NO NO!!No to this project till we do ourself eith in 200 yrs to come or not...It is no go zone

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  • 14 February 2008 06:50, by James James

    Good to see everybody talking nicely today even those who are on the waiting list of brain transplant like Trueson and his immediate cousin Biar, tried to extract the only remaining part of their good brain into this issue, thank you everybody.

    In fact, so called Jongolei canal is one of the standing issues which sent us to fight for 22 years, I am sure Abyei problem is going to be better than this equatient.

    We actually fought to stop arab from any sort of spoilage regarding our land, in other hand,we don’t want arab to rename our places, create unwanted lakes and canals like this one, and most of all, to open any water bed that they are not going to provide water purification and reasonable maintainces.

    So the answer for Egyptians is simple NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! let them go and get water from mediterreanan sea. BIG STOP.

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    • 14 February 2008 15:27, by Trueson of Southerner

      Mr James James,what did you think remain from me to tell you afterward apart from our pervious discussion ? I have discovered at last that you are suffering from monomania that need immediate attention,However,I promise you that,you will recieved your little contribution from me for trearment,because am not merciless like you.it is our duty to help our street boys who are just lingering on the roads.James am very tenacious person who can not be defeated by the street boy keep that in mind.
      lastly,my advice to you is that,don’t damaged your lungs with unnecessary heavy duties from whites with no income for your treatment,you may die on the roads like dogs,otherwise you better come back home.

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  • 14 February 2008 07:18, by Alneenyo

    The issue of resuming jonglei canal will be a tribble mistake. what are we going to gain of this projeck, As we all know the only people will benefit out of this are Egyptian. They are ony interested of better their life while we suffer here in south sudan lets wake up and smell some coffee canal jonglei will only give us result of drought in south sudan. we all know south sudan can not stand the drought if we allow the resumtion of the canal it will be like signing our own death warrent. have we already forgotten that canal jonglei was part of the conflict that cause two million lives and displace a dozen.most south sudan depend on those swamps, it mayed meant nothink to Egyptian but to most southerns it meant survivble most people of south sudan dont depend on our government, they depend on their lifestock and their lifestock depend on those swamps let us not forget those fishermen who fed their families with fish from the sudd. this arabs are not going to rest untill they see us vanish.
    i only hope our leader will see this threat that once again nocking on our door and put it away once and for all.. or may be it time to pratice damocracy a little, let south sudan citizen decide what they want! and iam pretty sure it is not canal.
    ( i call this the out coming genocide)

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  • 16 August 2012 20:39, by Liberator

    if i didn’t know z politics is just a dirty game, i wud ask myself y this happened but al2gether i understand wat it means. egyptians shud instead talk of compensating us instead of this. it is like they never read the reasons for the lib’n struggle.besides,they r typical african racists i have ever met. shame on them!! neva even talk abt it.they neva knw hw much we hate them.al nidhal mustimir!!

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