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Conflict over Nile River

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Edward Teller, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Edward Teller

    Edward Teller JF-Expert Member

    Feb 24, 2012
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    Immediately after independence in 1961, the then Tanganyika raised concerns about the unfair colonial-era treaty the British had signed with the Egyptians in 1929 over the waters of the longest river in the world, the Nile.

    As we speak today those misgivings have never disappeared since Egypt has been playing a cat-and-mouse game all along even signaling military action. The problem with the 1929 agreement is simple: Egypt has veto power over the control of the waters that run through nine countries.

    Now, the seven countries upstream want to be able to implement irrigation and hydropower projects in consultation with Egypt and Sudan, without Egypt's exercising the veto power it was granted in 1929.
    Last Friday, in Entebbe, four countries, that is, the host Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia, signed a new agreement to replace another unjust agreement signed in 1959 by Egypt and Sudan.
    Kenya later signed the agreement, while Burundi and the Democratic of the Congo didn't show up. Egypt views the signing as a unilateral action,

    The 1959 agreement between Egypt and Sudan following Sudan's independence in 1956, warranted 55.5 billion cubic metres of the Nile waters to Egypt, and 18.5 billion to Sudan, a combined total of 87 percent of the Nile flow.

    The two "Arab countries," as they would prefer to be called, had no obstacle in 1959, since six Nile countries were still under colonial rule, and Ethiopia had no power to challenge them with their master, Britain, watching. A quick assumption was made: The "Africans" have other sources of water.

    Coincidentally, Britain happened to be the colonial master of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan and Egypt. Furthermore, since Egypt owns the Suez Canal, which is the only gateway between Europe and Asia, the country became extremely important to Europe even before striking another deal with the United States in 1978 to ensure the safety of Israel.

    Since then, Egyptians have been arrogant, to say the least, thinking that they, Arabs, are better than the Africans, and even making childish claims such as "historical rights" over the Nile River waters.

    In 1980, the then Egyptian President Anwar Sadat characterised Ethiopian opposition to Cairo's project to divert Nile waters to one desert area as an "act of war." Ethiopia bowed down and Egypt remained big-headed.
    However, in 2004, Tanzania said enough was enough. The government hired a Chinese company to pull Lake Victoria waters to the arid areas in Shinyanga and Kahama. Why should our people suffer while a massive lake sits before us?

    Lake Victoria is sensitive because it is the mother of the Nile River. The lake is fed by several small rivers flowing from the mountainous areas covering the DRC, Burundi and Rwanda, which form Kagera River in Tanzania and then deep into Lake Victoria. Kenya is source of Mara River, which feeds Lake Victoria through Tanzania.

    As of today, Egypt is still uttering very provocative words such as: "Egypt only has water coming from the river. The Africans have it from the rains," which a television station, French 24, extracted from the mouth one Egyptian diplomat.

    Interestingly, the French news agency, Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Monday quoted another Western European diplomat saying: "Egyptians are behaving with the Africans the way they accuse Israel of behaving with the Palestinians; they say they are ready to negotiate but without committing to the difficult issues."
    The four countries which signed a new agreement on Friday each have a unique situation. Tanzania, the home of the half of the second largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Victoria, is adamantly pursuing a project to supply her people with water.

    Ethiopia, which happens to be the source of the Blue Nile but constantly facing drought, is bitter with the drama for a while now and has already started building a dam with financial aid from Italy. Uganda, known in history as the source of the Nile River wants more than the 1954 Owen Falls Dam off the Nile River.
    Rwanda, despite a psychological appetite for conflicts whenever an opportunity arises, has a point in the whole saga. Why should one country bulldoze everyone? We hope the DRC and Burundi will soon add weight to the new agreement.

    The river is 6,700 kilometers long serving more than 160 million people who inhabit 10 percent of the African continent landmass. No doubt that the Nile River is very sensitive but nobody now seems to care about the old saying: The Nile is Egypt and Egypt is the Nile.

    The diplomatic war has just started. Let's hope that a war will not break out.

    Unnecessary conflict over Nile River


  2. JS

    JS JF-Expert Member

    Feb 24, 2012
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    Mimi jamani hawa i wish they were never part of Africa......utadhani they are not africans stupid fools...and yes I call them stupid kwa sababu ya stupid comments kama hizi.
  3. Edward Teller

    Edward Teller JF-Expert Member

    Feb 25, 2012
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    NILE.gif nile1.jpg
    The upstream countries, including the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, have expressed concern over the long-standing arrangements, arguing the treaties have served to give Egypt unfair control over the use of the river's waters. None of the colonial treaties involved all the riparian countries and therefore, did not deal equitably with the interests of the upstream countries, they say.

    Regional analysts say that Egypt and Sudan, on the other hand, have been reluctant to renegotiate the treaties and this has, at times, strained relations between the upper- and lower-riparian nations.

    Egypt has historically threatened war on Ethiopia and Tanzania over the Nile river. Egypt armed Somali separatist rebels in Ethiopia during and since the Somalia invasion of Ethiopia in the 1970s.

    Four Nile Basin countries sign new water treaty amid strong opposition
    Four countries in the Nile Basin on Friday signed a new agreement on the equitable usage of the River Nile waters despite strong opposition from Egypt and Sudan.
    Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda who signed the Agreement on the Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework here, 40 km south of the capital Kampala, said they could not wait any longer for Egypt and Sudan after 10 years of negotiations.

    "If we weren't to sign today, I would assure you with certainty that we would go another 10 years or more without having reached an agreement," said Stanislas Kamanzi, Rwandese minister of environment and lands.
    "The essence of getting together is about moving quickly in an inclusive manner based on the principles of equitable sharing of our resources to promote the development of our respective populations," he added.

    Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Kenya promised to sign the agreement later, which also said the riparian countries should have equal rights to use the Nile waters.

    For over a decade, the nine riparian countries and Eritrea as an observer have been locked up in protracted negotiations to draft a new treaty on the usage of the Nile waters.
    All the countries agreed on the framework agreement apart from a clause which will reduce Egypt and Sudan's right to use more than 85 percent of the water.

    Egypt and Sudan want to maintain the old status quo of them using the biggest percentage of the water as stipulated in two colonial agreements they signed with the British in 1929 and 1959.
    Egypt has a right to use about 75 percent of the water while Sudan has 11 percent and the rest of the seven countries share 14 percent.

    The other riparian countries have to first seek permission from Egypt and Sudan before embarking on any large scale development projects on the river that would affect the level and flow of the waters.

    Egypt which mainly depends on the Nile for its livelihood argues that the other countries have other sources of water.
    The seven riparian countries argue that they can not maintain this status quo saying that they are now independent states and have equal rights as Egypt to use the waters.
    "There are enough waters of the Nile for everybody's need but indeed not for everybody's greed. To satisfy that need we need to cooperate," said Prof. Mark Mwandosya, Tanzania's minister for water and irrigation.

    The upstream countries are in dire need of using the water to generate hydropower and irrigation following persistent drought which has hit many of them leaving millions of their citizens on the verge of starvation.

    Ministers from the upstream countries said that they are not threatened by reports saying that Egypt is planning legal action against the riparian states that signed the accord.

    "I don't think that is the best way for having these changes. I don't know on what basis they are going to charge us. The best option is dialogue," said Asfaw Dingamo, Ethiopia's minister of water resources.
    "You don't take a family member to court, you always find a way to sort out your affairs not in public but in discussions," said Mwandosya, referring to Egypt as a brother to the other riparian states.

    The countries have now urged Egypt and Sudan to continue with the negotiations and eventually sign the agreement.
    "We sincerely regret that this ceremony has taken place in the intentional and announced absence of our dear brothers from Egypt and Sudan. We encourage them to join the process as we move forward," said Kamanzi.
    According to the framework agreement, the signing will be open for one year to allow Egypt and Sudan join the rest of the countries.

    According to Maria Mutagamba, Uganda's minister of water and environment, after the lapse of one year the signing of the agreement will close and if Egypt or Sudan have not signed they will not be part of the Nile Basin Commission and in case of any disagreement the two countries will have to seek international arbitration.

    The framework agreement will transform the Nile Basin Initiative to the Nile Basin Commission which will coordinate the equitable usage of the water. Countries will have to submit their intended projects along the Nile to the Commission for endorsement.
    Source: Xinhua
  4. F

    Ferds JF-Expert Member

    Feb 26, 2012
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    One of the reasons why egypt favored to be in Africa is because of the nile water....... na ananufaika si unaona anavyojidai....ziwa lipo kwe2, kutumia 2wapigie magoti wengine.........kumbe mikataba mibovu haijaanza na kwa kina Karamagi pekee kumbe from time immemorial Africa anasafa from mikataba ya kibongo lala
  5. Edward Teller

    Edward Teller JF-Expert Member

    Feb 27, 2012
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    moja ya mikataba mibovu-huu wa nile unaweza kuwa kwenye toplist