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World Affairs
North-eastern Africa
Whose Nile is it?
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William Lloyd-George/AFP This May 28 photograph shows the Blue Nile in Guba, Ethiopia, being diverted to facilitate construction of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance dam. Egypt demanded that Ethiopia stop the construction work and warned that “all options are open” if there is a threat to its water supply. The multi-billion-dollar dam, when completed, will be among the biggest in the world.

A war of words breaks out in north-eastern Africa as Egypt fears that the $4.7-billion dam Ethiopia is planning on the Blue Nile will curtail the flow of Nile waters to the country and encourage other basin states to emulate Ethiopia. By JOHN CHERIAN


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Comments:

David Hearst and Patrick Kingsley in Cairo, The Guardian - ‎Sunday‎, ‎30‎ ‎June‎ ‎2013 reported the following:- “The Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, in an exclusive interview, vowed there would be no second revolution in Egypt as thousands planned to gather outside his presidential palace calling for his removal after only a year in power. In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Morsi rejected opposition calls for early presidential elections and said he would not tolerate any deviation from constitutional order. He said that his early resignation would undermine the legitimacy of his successors – creating a recipe for unending chaos.”
In light of the above, obviously President Morsi’s outbursts and threats as reported by Kwait News Agency on 30 June entitled “Egyptians ready to sacrifice souls for the Nile -- Mursi warns” appear to be directed more towards the population of Egypt, presently in disarray and turmoil than towards Ethiopia.
The President is suppose to have said “Blood substitutes any decrease of the flow of the river waters even a single drop," "Those who believe that Egypt is preoccupied with (internal) challenges at the expense of protecting the borders and our water are in illusion," Mursi stressed further, in an explicit indication that Cairo might resort to military force, if diplomacy fails to dissuade the Ethiopians from pressing ahead with the dam project”.
It is my personal conviction that Ethiopia had considered all possible consequences prior to commencing the construction of the dam and is today well aware of the likely negative Egyptian reaction and is prepared to face whatever the Egyptian leadership refers as “all open options” but is Egypt prepared to face all the consequences of tampering with the dam?
from:  Assefaw Leggese
Posted on: Jun 30, 2013 at 15:47 IST
An interstate river is a common resource whose appropriation should not be at the cost of other countries. Countries like Egypt are heavily dependent on Nile for their economy and at the same time Ethiopia desperately needs water. There needs to be consensus involving all stakeholders. Unilateral measures like Ethiopia's recently concluded treaty and 1929 treaty signed between Egypt and Britain are bound to create more tensions.
from:  Nirmal Singh
Posted on: Jun 27, 2013 at 17:31 IST
A very good informative article. But it has three factual flaws. 1/
“Ethiopia’s neighbours, such as Egypt and Sudan, whose economies are
crucially dependent on the Nile, are not happy with what they perceive
as Ethiopia’s unilateral moves.” Unlike Egypt, Sudan officially
supports the construction of the dam.2/ “The distribution of the
Nile’s waters was until recently governed by two conventions. The
first was signed in 1929 between Egypt and Britain. Britain was the
colonial power that controlled or had influence over all the states
through which the Nile flowed.” The Nile flows through Ethiopia. But
Ethiopia has been an independent country. Hence, Britain did not have
a control or influence over it in 1929. 3/ “Cairo is awaiting the
report by a Tripartite Nile Basin Committee comprising Ethiopia, Sudan
and Egypt to determine its next course of action.” The report is
already submitted to the three countries, even though Ethiopia's and
Egypt's take of the report is different.
from:  Hannibal Minilik
Posted on: Jun 27, 2013 at 03:56 IST
Ethiopia is trying to uplift itself from poverty. This project is a
vital component of reaching that goal. Nothing will stop the dam from
being completed because the government of Ethiopia is determined on
meeting their developmental goal of becoming a middle-income nation by
2025.
from:  Markos
Posted on: Jun 26, 2013 at 20:38 IST
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