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Ethiopia accuses Egypt of delaying Nile treaty

April 21, 2010

“Ethiopia and six other countries in east and central Africa will sign on May 14 a framework agreement on the equitable utilisation of the Nile river,” Ethiopian government spokesman Shimelis Kemal told reporters.

“It’s a deal based on international customary law, but Egypt is dragging its feet. All seven countries have rejected the previous agreement between Egypt and colonial Britain,” he said.

Egyptian Water Resources Minister Mohammed Allam on Monday warned Nile basin countries against inking the deal which excluded his country.

Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda agreed to the new deal on April 13, only to be shunned by both Egypt and Sudan — the river’s two largest consumers.

At the heart of the dispute is the 1929 agreement between Egypt and Britain, acting on behalf of its African colonies along the 5,584-kilometre (3,470-mile) river, which gave Egypt veto power over upstream projects.

An agreement between Egypt and Sudan in 1959 allowed Egypt 55.5 billion cubic metres of water each year — 87 percent of the Nile’s flow — and Sudan 18.5 billion cubic metres.

Some of the Nile Basin countries say past treaties are unfair and they want an equitable water-sharing agreement that would allow for more irrigation and power projects.

Egypt, a mostly arid country that relies on the Nile for the majority of its water, argues up-stream countries could make better use of rainfall and have other sources of water.

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7 comments on “Ethiopia accuses Egypt of delaying Nile treaty

  1. There is no such thing as Egyptian muscle as Egypt is the second most military aided country after Israel. Egyptians since their last physical trail of directly occupying ethiopia( just before the European scramble for Africa) what they have done is to ally themselves to available superpowers in order to get financial and political support which helped the monopolize the river without being challenged by the mostly poor and unstable upper- riparian countries. So basically Egypitians have been smart in playing the right card in the game of international politics while we have been ruled by people as damn as Mengistu who isolated us from the rest of the world and inflicted the most unforgettable misery on us. If it wasn’t for that, even the liberation fronts that managed to divide ethiopia wouldn’t have succeeded in million years. they would have just died away just like the Tamil Tigers….the good news is, at list all the upper riparian nations are speaking in one voice, the bad news is the ethnic policy in ethiopia is a hot meal for Egypt to dine on.

  2. I think Ethiopia has to get ready to respond either in a diplomatic ways or in whatever alternatives the Egyptian and Sudanese are prefering. I think without quick intervention by the international communities, it may lead to war. We have historical relations with both Sudan and Egypt.But both countries and their Arab allies are closely following Ethiopia’s stride in economy and military capacity. Because they know what will happen if Ethiopia gets stronger and stronger in term of economy and power in the horn. The Ethiopian government has to show firm stand in this regard. Ethiopians are dying of hunger and poverty while Egypt and Sudan are exporting grains cultivated using our water. It is better to die in war with them than dying from hunger!!! I do not agree with the previous writer that regionalization may hinder Ethiopia from protecting its right and teritory. This is absolutely wrong. Wherever and whenever, we know how to keep our solidarity and unity and trash our external enemies.

  3. no need to war or to increase hard feeling against egypt.we refuse to take what is not belongs to us,you ethiopian have 800 miliiars of rain water you left it to wast and not use it ,becasue it is need more effort to keep that amount of water which can cover all 9 nile basin countries.But instand of use it right you monoplise to lead a war against egypt.you not need water to stop your hunger ,you need effiecntly way to use the rain water which god gived to you as he gives us El nile only EL nile.pls think in good way and no need to war ,we will never ever make the weapons producer benefit from us,

  4. It is your country’s attempt of threatening Ethiopia stating that Egypt has historical rights to control any projects constructed upstream of the Nile River. This is an old history. Anyway,you have a positive outlook and what you have said have grains of truths. I also agree that it is better to make proper arrangements regarding the efficient and equitable use of Nile River. Of course this is not the time to think about war. It is the question of equitable use of the River Nile.

  5. We ethiopians are rational and God fearing people that is why we are not trining to monoplize the water from Abay(Felege Ghion) for our own sake but we think we all should servive with the resourse that lord gave Us.We recognize Egypt the mother of our spritual fathers (Atnatewos,entons,pawlinos,Yohanes abusheker…)But it is imoral to say let U die of hunger so that we will have ample water to raid boats,to let it evaporate in dams such as aswan and al last see it pour to the mediteranean see on the expense of ethiopian lives.
    Attention we Ethiopians never had lost a war for we stand the right way the almighty God supports.
    Remember! at the right time with the right objective a single chapter from the book of Psalms is much powerful than all armaments.You had it before centuries and during wars with Israel.
    Be rational the water suffices for all of us.Consult your coptic fathers why Ethiopians are always victorous?
    The land blessed to posses the mighty Ark of Tsion (Zion)
    May lord Eyesus Kirstos look after the holy land.

  6. We ethiopians are rational to consider the survival of others.But we never lost wars for two reasons.I.e.first we fight to only defend our selves and secondly we posses the secret of being victriousnes for being land of rightousness which pleases the true God.

  7. Though it may be partially true, don’t forget Hizkael that Muslims share substantial proportion of the Ethiopian population. This land is also a holyland for them. Nothing to do with the religion in this regard.The issue is equitable use of the resources. Let’s talk about this issue only. The bad thing was the attempt of the Egyptians- forcing other countries to bind to outdated treaty rather than solving the problem in diplomatically. Hopefully the issue is now getting cooler and let us forget about war now. The mastermine-Meles is behind the controversy! Of course, everybody knowns the emerging Ethiopia in the Horn now!!!!

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