Home | News    Wednesday 19 May 2010

Eritrea’s President says new Nile treaty "wrong agreement"


By Tesfa Alem Tekle

May 18, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) — Eritrean president Issayas Afeworki has voiced support to Egypt over Ethiopia on Nile river new treaty. However Egyptian economists have strongly opposed Eritrea’s support over Ethiopia saying a superficial advice calculated to incite conflicts between the two nations.

Eritrea's Isaias AfwerkiAccording to a recently released publication by the Eritrean Ministry of Information, President Issayas Afwerki has reached an agreement with Egypt on various bilateral matters.

President Issayas Afewerki said that the Nile Littoral States (Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda etc) are however making the "wrong agreements and regulations" on the use of the Nile river.

In an interview with Egyptian Television, Issayas said the position of upstream Nile countries "not only aggravates the situation but also creates tension.”

On Friday, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania, four of the nine upstream Nile countries which gathered in the Ugandan town of Entebbe inked a new treaty on the equitable sharing of the Nile waters despite strong opposition from Sudan and Egypt which sweeps over 85% of the river waters.

The new treaty allows the upstream nations to build hydroelectric dams and large scale irrigation projects along the Nile River. Some Egyptian and Sudanese officials have reacted angrily over the new treaty and demanded that Ethiopia and other upstream nations use the rain instead of the river, despite failing rains in Ethiopia have caused several droughts that killed tens of thousands of people.

Following President Issayas’s remarks, Egyptian economists are reported to have opposed Eritrea’s support over Ethiopia on Nile issue as only politically motivated aimed to meet self-interest by roughening the existing smooth ties between Addis Ababa and Cairo.

They said Ethiopia and Egypt have currently smooth political relations and should preserve it through table discussion if they have any differences on the Nile river issue in table discussion in a way that benefits both nations fairly.

The Egyptian economists suggested that no need to go to war to get economic advantage of the Nile River which may lead to political crisis amongst African nations, particularly the horn which have share in the Nile issue.

President Issayas Afwerki, president of Eritrea, is supporting Egypt only to damage Ethiopia and to gain political calculations but has no any scientific foundations, they added.

The Eritrea’s president’s advice to Egypt over the Nile river issue is unscientific and danger since it provokes war in the horn. The Eritrea’s president’s idea to Egypt over the Nile river issue is aimed at inciting conflicts between the two nations, they said.

The Egyptian economists have advised the Cairo government to invest in development projects in upstream nations in order to import food and electric power from countries like Ethiopia instead of threatening war on all east African countries.

They said Egypt has many economic opportunities that it can get from Ethiopia.

The Eritrea’s president support to Egypt over the issue of Nile River is unacceptable by any standard, adding the Egyptian government should not accept it, they added.

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.

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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  • 19 May 2010 04:14, by Dengtaath

    Egypt must stop dictating Nile treaty for the use of its water, all East African countries have a right to use the water

    repondre message

  • 19 May 2010 05:17, by murlescrewed

    Eritrea is now a marginal state in the Horn of Africa region and its opinions don’t hold weight. It is time for Eritrea to start acting in mature and responsible manner and return to its old roots of being a fighter for the small guy.

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    • 19 May 2010 07:46, by Deng Thiak Adut

      I dont think Egypt have sufficient claims to go to war with anyone. There is no legality or substances in those treaties. Treaties is not binding on non-signitory states and in particular the 1929 treaty as the English does not hold such acount any more. The best thing Egypt should be doing is to contact England in relation to the the colonial treaty(ies) or accept reasonable distribution of water resources. Is it binding on Sudan? yes! But is it binding on other non-signitories nation? No. Egypt has no resources to support herself so we cannot accept any promises. South Sudan would soon be building precisely 4 dams and extensive irrigation schemes and Egypt will do nothing about... Legally we will win the case, by force, yes we can because we been fighting them since 1956. So what different does it make if she can keep threatening us? She is threatening all 8 nation and that is an empty war in my opinion.

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  • 19 May 2010 13:01, by Responsive

    There is nothing that will happen b/n we(Ethiopians) and Egyptians ... we are not enemies....so, every thing will be solved diplomatically. We enjoy good relation both religiously (Muslim-Muslim, Christian-Christian) and economically.

    repondre message

    • 20 May 2010 08:21, by Dengtaath

      Make sure Ethiopia is neither an Islamic state nor an Arab state, that comment is useless. And I am sure you are not Ethiopian

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  • 19 May 2010 14:10, by okucu pa lotinokwan

    Egypt should stop making alot of noise,why do you not make use of Med Sea water?which is so close to you and without an end, purified the water please for both agriculture and consumption.You have trade enough in this white Nile water, which ever the country where this Nile orginated do not benefited from it like you.

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  • 19 May 2010 17:47, by Gatluak Latjor

    Every thing is wrong with you - what is wrong with guy ? Arabs are not begged like that , Ethiopia is right.

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  • 19 May 2010 19:33, by solo

    We Ethiopians have no fear to go to war with Eygpt at all.Ethiopians categorize Eygypt as historical enemy to Ethiopia.It is unthinkable to think Melese zenawi will deal the situation in accordance with the nation interest. It is very dissappointing and sad to see such kinds of comment from Issayas Afeworki,This shows how much he hate Ethiopia and will bring Ethiopians one out look against him and against the armed struggle groups whom they make Ertria as a base..

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    • 19 May 2010 21:00, by DASODIKO


      Its not Ethiopian war but African war with crazy Arabs and North Sudan Black Arabs. We are no more fools. No one can dictate us how to handle our home properties. in addtion to that Arabs are killing our brothers Africans in Sudan, so why should we give them our own waters for free?

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      • 20 May 2010 08:17, by Dengtaath

        Thanks for your comment, good advise to Solo.
        We are coming to our senses as African, this generation is walking with eyes open, there will be only little decieve upon us African today.
        You made me felt proud.

        repondre message

        • 20 May 2010 11:45, by Amook Raan

          Eritrea, has nothing to do with Nile water, so Aforgy must shut up his mouth or Ethiopia will do her job again.

          repondre message

        • 24 May 2010 17:27, by zenu

          I think the time is coming assignment for this generetion we ahve to fight aginest arabs we have to crsh bastards aeritrians we have to make sure south sudan be free we have to form militry alince, infact we may not reqired to for militry aliance i’m saying incase. As we now arbs dont fight infront they go behind and the create terror the anly thing to stop them is killing all persons that looks arab speaking arabic,in fact doing this is very simple. I always remember what iserael did for dosen of arab.

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