Home | News    Saturday 15 May 2010

Ethiopia signs new Nile treaty despite Egypt, Sudan opposition


May 14, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) — Four Nile basin states on Friday inked a new treaty on the equitable sharing of the Nile waters despite strong opposition from Egypt and Sudan who sweep over 85% of the river waters.

Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania, four of nine countries which stand to benefit from the arrangement, signed the agreement in the Ugandan town of Entebbe.

"This agreement benefits all of us and harms none of us," said Ethiopia’s Water Resources Minister Asfaw Dingamo. "I strongly believe all Nile Basin countries will sign the agreement."

Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo were not represented at the meeting; While Kenya issued a support statement.

The Nile Basin Initiative, which had been spearheading the talks, will now become the Nile Basin Commission and will receive, review and approve or reject projects related to Africa’s longest river.

Egypt has vowed to defend its water supply; calling its water supply a “red line” and threatening legal action should the process move forward.

"We regret the intentional and announced absence of our dear brothers from Egypt and Sudan," said Stanislas Kamanzi, Rwanda’s water and lands minister at the signing of the treaty.

The upstream countries want to be able to implement irrigation and hydropower projects in consultation with Egypt and Sudan, but without Cairo being able to exercise the veto power it was given by a 1929 colonial-era treaty with Britain.
Yesterday, The European Union has urged seven Nile Basin countries to reconsider the signing of a new water sharing deal without prior agreement with Egypt and Sudan.

"It would not be a very good idea for seven countries to sign a document at this stage," Marc Franco, who heads the European Union delegation, told a news conference in Cairo.

A separate deal would "make the political problems that exist worse," added Franco, urging all countries concerned "to bridge the gaps" and "see what can be done to find a compromise."

The water Nile is governed by two treaties. The 1929 agreement signed between Egypt and Great Britain (representing for colonies including Sudan), gave Cairo the right to veto projects higher up the Nile that would affect its water share.

The other document is the 1959 agreement, between Egypt and Sudan. It gave Egypt the right to 55.5 billion cubic meters of Nile water a year and Sudan 18.5 billion cubic meters per year.

The new agreement would replace a 1959 accord between Egypt and Sudan. The seven upstream countries have been negotiating for years with Egypt and Sudan to clinch a more equitable agreement but talks have failed to produce any fruit.

The upstream countries say past treaties are unfair and they want an equitable water-sharing agreement that would allow for more irrigation and power projects.

Egypt and Sudan are sticking to colonial-era pacts which give them over 85% of the Nile water. The two countries say the upstream countries have other sources of water while Egypt gets all its water needs from the Nile. Cairo also projects possible shortages by 2017.


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  • 15 May 2010 03:43, by Kim Deng


    The Mighty Ethiopia will not only lead the move, but confront the arabized Nubian gov’t/NIF and its ally in all mean necessary.

    repondre message

    • 15 May 2010 04:00, by pol d

      Great job Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda,Tanzania, I think the rest of African who did not sign will follow their brothers to sign too. Sudan North and Egypt will not stop african countries for their right. When you Ethiopian involve SouthSudan is there so, shame on Arab North you sell your oil well sell our water.
      GOD Blessed African

      repondre message

      • 15 May 2010 04:39, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

        The development of the countries that signed the accord in Entebbe in Uganda depends on the use of their natural resources. Having said that the humane interests of the nations that refused to sign the agreement was taken on board, so they can not threaten the concerned countries that inked up the accord with war. Moreover it took a decade of no fruitful end of coming up with formula for sharing the nile water that is just. Egypt and Sudan should not tie the arms of those countries to deny them development at the time of drought and famine in the region. These countries need the nile waters as much as Egypt and Sudan need. To them like it is to Egypt and Sudan, is a matter of life or death with the looming drought and famine in the region. A better agreement like the one signed is the only amicable solution to the problem and not the obsolete 1929 and1959 agreements that none of the citizens of those countries were involved in the negotiation and its signing.

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  • 15 May 2010 08:06, by Hillary B.M.L,M

    Britain Time had gone Please.

    Egypt and Sudan must accept a new Water Deal which would make all Countries to benefit from the Shares, abolishing Egypt Vito is very important, Egypt should know that it has no power to Vito on Water issue .
    South Sudan should be included in the Share.

    repondre message

  • 15 May 2010 10:36, by solo

    All Ethiopians fully support the right to use our river.But do we have the nationalist leader who can deal this effectively ? The answer is no, Melese he get another ball to play poletics in the future to come

    repondre message

    • 17 May 2010 17:50, by Responsive

      Ya, He is not an Amhara , there for... for small minded , racist/tribalist people like you he is a leader with no national interest. He built a lot of things on ur backyard (Amhara region). what do you want more ?? kodachinin litigefu new???

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  • 15 May 2010 12:07, by Othogomoi

    I like it very much, when i heard that Four Nile Basin State signed the agreement without presence of So Egypt & Sudan.this is a good step, for liberating African Nation from the colonial link, and Terrorist Arabs.next year South Sudan will secede & Support the initiatives, leave the terrorist alone.dont listen to them even when they calling for another agreement.only two states want to distablize the four Great African States.if they call for EU interfere, dont associate with them.
    let them know that African are now becoming strong.
    who say that the only source water for Egypt is river nile, while others have another sources, what about Red sea & Mediterenean sea(north Of Egypt)? are these sea not another sources.
    Let these confused & terrorist generation(Arabs Nation)know that African of today are the decision makers, not the one of the past who have been directed by colonial because of their illiteracy.

    repondre message

  • 12 March 2013 15:08, by dennishobson

    n5zXyZy3KAbiCC3BkunbUkjvOBHK17ssangyong madeira plastica plastic lumber The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something int

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