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May 17th, 2010
Tanzania yesterday rejected insistence by Egypt and Sudan that the new agreement on the Nile River Basin Co-operative Framework should recognise the two countries’ current Nile water uses and rights.
With the Nile’s total flow of 84 cubic metres, Egypt gets 55.5 billion cubic metres of the water annually and Sudan gets 18.5 billion cubic metres under uses and rights based on old colonial agreements which have long been rejected by seven Nile Basin member states as invalid.
The seven members are Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The new agreement, which was signed on May 14 by four countries, including Tanzania, out of the 10 Nile Basin states, establishes principles governing the use, management, development and conservation of the Nile water resources and details the rights and obligations of Basin states.
The Minister for Water and Irrigation, Prof Mark Mwandosya, told a news conference in Dar es Salaam that Tanzania recognised the sensitivity of water security to Egypt and Sudan, but access to the waters of the Nile River was a key requirement for the existence of all Basin Nile States.
He said the bone of contention was Article 14 (b) of the agreement which states: “…not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin state”, adding that all countries agreed to this proposal except Egypt and Sudan.
The minister said Egypt proposed that the article should have been replaced by the wording… “not to adversely affect the water security and current uses and rights of any other Nile Basin state.”
“This is not acceptable,” said Prof Mwandosya, adding that Tanzania and the other six Nile Basin countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and DRC had tried for over 10 years to negotiate for an agreement that was acceptable to all member countries.
Asked whether the position shown by Egypt and Sudan pointed to water wars among Nile Basin states, Prof Mwandosya said: “I don’t think that the situation we’re facing could cause water wars. But I think water will make us to be more united. And we’re on the right course.”
He said Tanzania would use its international stature to continue dialoguing with Egypt and Sudan so as to uphold the One Nile philosophy that has been cultivated over the years.
He said Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia signed the Nile River Basin Co-operation Framework agreement in Entebbe, Uganda on May 14, adding that Kenya promised to sign the deal soon while Burundi and the DRC expected to follow suit.
Prof Mwandosya said the agreement would remain open for one year until May 13, 2011 during which countries may initiate ratification process respective to each country’s Constitution and procedures.
The Nile River Basin is shared by 10 countries of Tanzania, DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea. Its waters have been used for millennia.
Stretching more than 6,600 kilometres from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean, the Nile is a vital water and energy source for the countries through which it flows
Taipei Times - May 15, 2010
Taipei Times - May 15, 2010
Four east African countries sign
WPR: What is the current status quo of water use in the Nile River basin? Wolf: The last actual treaty signed on the basin is one between Egypt and Sudan …
By Staff Reporter Four of the upper Nile Basin riparian countries signed a new Nile water sharing treaty on Friday May 14, 2010 that could reverse the May …
A major factor in the absence of a workable peace and security order in Northeast Africa is the unresolved issue of the Nile Waters and regional power order …
Al-Masry Al-Youm --
State-run papers lead with reports of yesterday’s meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh between President Hosni Mubarak and Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabar ..
Al-Masry Al-Youm --
Ethiopia’s announcement on Friday of the inauguration of its new Tana Beles dam aimed to provoke Egypt’s anger and lead it to taking swift diplomatic …
Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania agreed on the sharing of the Nile waters, in spite of the boycott of Egypt and Sudan, and signed an agreement – in …
WATER SUPPLY: Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment Maria Mutagamba (L) and Uganda’s Deputy Foreign Minister Isaac Musumba, …
A senior Egyptian official said Sunday the coming weeks are to see intensive diplomatic actions by Cairo to resolve a water dispute which has for long …
Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry stated that the signing of a water cooperation agreement among some countries at the source of the Nile Basin does not …
All the newspapers lead today with coverage of the what is being called the “Nile river crisis.” The media frenzy comes in response to a water-sharing …
Egypt Sunday objected to a new agreement signed by four Nile Basin countries in Uganda for changing the way the river waters are shared, even as the deal …
Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Engineer Kamal Ali Mohamed has reiterated Sudan’s rejection to establishment of a commission that does not …
Only four countries – Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania – have signed, in Entebbe, Uganda, an agreement to share the management of the waters of the …
Los Angeles Times (blog) - May 15, 2010
Egypt, the largest user of Nile River water, has played down the importance of a new Nile Basin Cooperative Framework agreement that could limit how much …
Egypt, the largest user of Nile River water, has played down the importance of a new Nile Basin Cooperative Framework agreement that could limit how much water flows into the country.
The treaty, signed Friday by Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania in the Ugandan city of Entebbe, will replace a 1959 agreement that secured Egypt its historic rights of Nile waters (55.5 billion cubic meters of water each year). Egypt and Sudan boycotted the meeting and have filed objections to the agreement.
The new treaty comes after theof negotiations between the river’s source countries, including Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda, and the downstream nations, Egypt and Sudan, during a convention in Sharm el Sheik last month. Egypt, however, is unfazed by the new accord.
“Egypt and Sudan will not be legally committed to any agreements signed in their absence. The new treaty doesn’t mean anything to both countries,” Moufid Shehab, Egyptian Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, was quoted as saying by MENA news agency.
“We don’t want to view it [the treaty] as a destructive act, but we never hoped this would happen because it completely goes beyond the frame of cooperation,” he added.
Nile upstream countries, which also include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Kenya, have long demanded a new pact to regulate an equitable sharing of Nile waters. They also oppose Egypt’s veto power on new irrigation projects in their nations, a right granted to Egypt by a colonial agreement signed with Great Britain in 1929. Such changes could reduce how much water flows into Egypt before the 4,163-mile river reaches the Mediterranean Sea.
While the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi were not represented during Friday’s accord, Kenya issued a statement of support and announced its willingness to sign the treaty as soon as possible. Egyptian experts have previously warned that jeopardizing the country’s shares of Nile water could expose Egypt to a serious water crisis within the next few years.
© 2010 – 2013, Prof. Muse Tegegne. All rights reserved.