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Egypt, Sudan opposed to Nile sharing deal

By Vision Reporter

Added 14th April 2010 03:00 AM

EGYPT and Sudan have refused to sign the agreement on the sharing of the Nile waters.Although Uganda and the rest of the Nile Basin countries were ready to sign the protocol called the Cooperative Framework Agreement, Egypt and Sudan held on to their “historical rights” over the Nile as spelt ou

EGYPT and Sudan have refused to sign the agreement on the sharing of the Nile waters.Although Uganda and the rest of the Nile Basin countries were ready to sign the protocol called the Cooperative Framework Agreement, Egypt and Sudan held on to their “historical rights” over the Nile as spelt ou

By Gerald Tenywa

EGYPT and Sudan have refused to sign the agreement on the sharing of the Nile waters.Although Uganda and the rest of the Nile Basin countries were ready to sign the protocol called the Cooperative Framework Agreement, Egypt and Sudan held on to their “historical rights” over the Nile as spelt out in two colonial agreements of 1929 and 1959.

Speaking to The New Vision after three days of talks at Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, environment minister Maria Mutagamba said the seven member countries of the Nile Basin “also disagreed with Egypt and Sudan”.

“We have agreed to disagree,” Mutagamba said after the negotiations.

“Seven countries have agreed, but two decided to continue disagreeing with us,” she added.

The other countries are the DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi.

She added that the colonial agreements, which guarantee downstream Egypt with the lion’s share of the Nile waters, have been contested by the upper Nile states over the years and were blocking development of the water resources.

Despite this, she argued, the Nile Cooperative Framework entails more than sharing water.

“We have a lot at stake including trade and conservation of wetlands and forests, which act as reservoirs of the water in the River Nile,” Mutagamba said .

Mutagamba added: “We have decided to move on the next stage signing the agreement starting on May 14. This will remain open for signing for not more than one year. After that, the countries will engage in the ratification process.”

This is the second time the countries are disagreeing over the issue within one year.

In May last year, the seven countries decided to honour the cooperative framework.

They also proposed that the areas of disagreement would be resolved later.

She cited politics and fear among politicians in Egypt for holding on to the archaic agreements.

Egypt, Sudan opposed to Nile sharing deal

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