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Sudan shrugs off Burundi’s signing of new Nile water deal


March 3, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Burundi’s joining of a new agreement to alter shares of the Nile River’s water was “expected”, Sudan’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources said on Wednesday, reiterating his country’s rejection to the pact.

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Sudan’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Kamal Mohamed Ali

Sudan and Egypt in particular have ardently opposed an agreement signed in May last year by four of the Nile’s upstream countries – Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda – to alter shares of the Nile water as defined in a colonial-era accord which gives Egypt the lion’s share of the water and the right to veto Nile projects proposed by other countries.

The new agreement was signed after 13 years of failure in talks between the Nile basin countries to reach an agreement guaranteeing an equitable use of Nile water.

Under the old accords, Egypt receives 55.5 billion square meters of water annually, out of the estimated total 84 billion square meters, whereas Sudan receives the second largest share, 18 billion cubic meters per year.

Burundi on Monday signed up to the new pact known as the Nile Basin Initiative, rendering it ready to go into effect pending ratification by local parliaments in the countries that signed it.

Sudan’s minister of irrigation and water resources, Kamal Ali Mohamed, said in statements carried on Wednesday by the country’s official news agency SUNA that Burundi’s joining of the agreement was “expected.”

The minister went on to say that Sudan’s stance towards the new deal remains unchanged because it ignores the existing rights and does not enjoy consensus by all Nile basin countries.

Sudan will officially split in two this July after South Sudan voted in a referendum in January to break away from the north and form an independent state.

The soon-to-be independent South Sudan has not declared an unequivocal position on the Nile water dispute but most analysts say the south is likely to join other upstream countries in calling for more shares from downstream Egypt.

Egypt’s foreign policy has been in a limbo since weeks of popular protests ousted long-serving President Hosni Mubarak last month.

But Egyptian officials said that the new agreement is not binding to Egypt even if it goes into effect.


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  • 3 March 2011 07:16, by Omoni Atari

    Brothers from North,
    People are trying to be nice and balance with you,especially economically.Nile upstreams countries want to use water,the people living within these five countries are the same like ,north sudan and Egypt.
    Everyone need food across the world.

    repondre message

  • 3 March 2011 07:27, by Aleu

    Any nation from these Nile nations have the rights to use water and no one would say don’t use your water period.

    Egyptian people must understand that, the Old documents are not working in this 21st century and they have to follow what the majority said.

    Southern Sudan have been under develoment in 50 years and I think the Southern Sudanese people are ready to use water as much as possible for agriculture and all others things need water.

    repondre message

  • 4 March 2011 08:51, by unityfirst1

    Southern Sudan will soon startting using alot of water for our own agricultures and the development within those three regions period.we will make sure to oust some canals that can allow us to be able to use them as much as we can in our dially basis.there will be no 55.5 billions square meters of water that will be allow to overflow to Egypt aimlessly.South will soon have alot of capacities to control these upstream of water.watchdog is still looking into 2005 Egyptian massacred of the Southern Sudanese Refugees in Egypt. (Don’t forget that).

    repondre message

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