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Egypt walks out of Nile Basin Discourse summit

Egyptian officials attending the Nile Basin Discourse Summit (NBDS) on Thursday walked out of the meeting aimed at promoting development in the catchment area.

Trouble began at around 4pm when officials from Egypt showed discontent at how the summit organisers were selecting the day’s main speakers. The Egyptians especially complained on why only presenters from Ethiopia were chosen to present without giving them (Egyptians) the opportunity.  

Organisers of the  Kampala summit had planned that after lunch, a panel of experts would be selected to make various presentations on how all the Nile Basin countries can harness development in the catchment area.

But mid-way through the announcements, two Egyptians officials (male and female) stood up in protest saying the organisers’ aim was to sideline their country by stopping them from presenting.

“They have chosen four Ethiopians to speak and they haven’t given us a chance to present. Why have they refused us from speaking?” protested one of the unidentified Egyptian male official who was later joined by his colleagues in protest.  Adding: “This is really unfair to us and our country and we won’t allow it. They are making Egypt look bad.”

Officials outside the meeting room

Officials from participating countries like those from Sudan tried to calm the situation but their Egyptian counterparts couldn’t have anymore of the “insults” and vowed not to go back to the summit.  

According to an insider, Egypt only tried to politicise the issue because the summit wasn’t political at all as it’s intentions were not to discuss the contentious articles in the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA).

Under the CFA, all countries want to have equal shares to the Nile waters but Egypt maintains that the colonial agreements give it more power. It hasn’t ratified the CFA and maintains that all countries in the catchment should first seek permission from it before they set up any project on the Nile. The other countries object this.

“The Egyptians and Ethiopians act this way every time we have discussions pertaining the Nile and it’s these issues that are slowing us down.

The Ethiopian presenters were only chosen to sit on the panel of experts to discuss how we can promote development in the Nile Basin. They were not even going to talk about their issues with Egypt,” said an official who preferred anonymity.

In 2011, Ethiopia embarked on a project to construct the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile, the largest power plant in Africa, but ever since then it has come under intense attack from Egypt.

The predominantly Arab country argues that its 94 million people depend on the river for water and construction of the $4.2bn dam will disrupt the flow of the Nile River and sees it as a national water security threat.

The colonial treaties signed between Egypt and Britain in 1929 and 1959 give the Arab Country close to 90 per cent rights to the Nile waters.

Recent calls for studies to find out the potential effects of the Renaissance Dam have yielded no results as Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt have failed to agree on which consultancy firm should do the job.

Speaking at the two-day summit, Prof Muawia Shaddad, the incoming NBDS chairperson, observed that the Nile Basin was faced with a lot of challenges.

He noted that problems like climate change, population outburst, poverty would be sorted if Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) under NBDF were involved in the activities of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI).

Shaddad explained that now that the Nile Council of Ministers(Nile-COM) had approved NBI’s strategic 10-year plan, the CSOs would work together with the initiative to address a number of bottlenecks.

At the same event, a three-year memorandum of understanding was signed between NBDS and NBI aimed at achieving the latter’s strategic plan.  

abumay1988@gmail.com

Comments   

+3 #21 lala 2017-12-04 05:48
I am really angry why the African leaders need this parasitic country. Egypt is a parasite country in Africa.

We need to expel them from ancient Egypt. Africans living in Egypt under colony. I am talking about the Nubians who live in Egypt as third citizen.

They land taken their culture destroyed, their history destroyed/? Who is going to liberate them ? These colonizers must be kicked out from Africa to where they came from. You are making them brats by sucking up their thrats.
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+2 #22 Extraterritorial 2017-12-04 05:51
The most saddest thing of is that after Egypt failed on direct confrontation with Ethiopia in the battle of Gure and Gundat she turned on a proxy war against Ethiopia causing insatiability and immense suffering of the Ethiopian poor.

Egypt gave huge financial help to Somalia to invade Ethiopia in the 1970s, Egypt was the master mind of the Eritrean liberation Front and main diplomatic and financial supporter, today Egypt is working hard to start a civil war of Oromo Liberation Front.

This all is the tip of the iceberg on what Egypt was and is doing to stop Ethiopia from developing the Nile waters.

No matter what Egypt does to disintegrate Ethiopia the source of the Nile will remain Ethiopian as long as the nation state world order continues.

Egyptian foreign policy is the most unwise and self defeating. Egypt dont need to make Ethiopia an enemy by attacking in every corner she got.

Egypt need to make a radical change in her apporoch to Ethiopia and ask forgiveness for her past evil.
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+1 #23 Girma 2017-12-04 06:19
Egypt should know that military action is not a viable option. If the GERD can be hit, so can your Aswan.

And that our Egyptian "African" friends will be more devastating to you than us for it be your own dam that will destroy everything from the dam to the delta.

Please come back to the negotiations with sane mind.
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+2 #24 Ben k 2017-12-04 06:33
Quoting Emil Elmanquabadi:
As an Egyptian we have 100 million almost population so the amount of water need it it’s more than any anther one and that has to be considered


Egyptian life doesn’t worth more than Ethiopian life or the rest of African countries. All human life worth the same. We all need water.
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0 #25 gwok 2017-12-04 10:12
Quoting rubangakene:
Blue Nile is the major source of the Nile water, notwithstanding any colonial agreement that was written to quench the British needs in Egypt.

Things have to change. When the Ethiopians starved to death in their millions, the Egyptians were supplying white cotton bed sheets to 5-star hotels worldwide and now they are supplying the supermarkets of Europe with fresh produce. and what do Ugandans get for their meagre White Nile contribution?

"Peanuts" in the form of military hardware and training. Who eats military hardware?


I agree, esecially regaring the Nile Water Agreement between the Brits and Egypt.

Like the Hong Kong - Brit one & the Buganda-Brit on earlier, the Water Agreement was PURE AIR aimed at getting the Brits out of their earler promises that they made to those subjects at the onset of their colonising them.
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+1 #26 Abalang 2017-12-04 10:12
Quoting Emil Elmanquabadi:
As an Egyptian we have 100 million almost population so the amount of water need it it’s more than any anther one and that has to be considered


What about the billions of other African country populations? Have you taken that into consideration?

The British may have left the rest of the Nile Basin countries in a calculated mess, but that does not mean that it should not be corrected.

Your country cannot take the largest share of the Nile water way above and beyond the water needs of the countries from which the Nile originates.

You have the whole Red Sea and the Mediterranean Ocean at your disposal--you can complement the likely deficit with that.
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-2 #27 Younis 2017-12-04 14:52
The guidelines for posting a comment indicate a "no abuse" policy, whereas I spotted a couple of hatred comments against Egypt.

"Recent calls for studies to find out the potential effects of the Renaissance Dam have yielded no results as Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt have failed to agree on which consultancy firm should do the job."

I'd be glad to receive references from the editor supporting this statement. Most academic studies I read investigating the issue anticipate potentially negative downstream impacts on water supply particularly during the filling.

The question is how to minimize the negative impacts, which is a key point in the declaration of principles signed by the leadership of the three countries in 2015.

Another side note: the 1959 treaty is definitely not a colonial treaty. It was made between the republic of Egypt, led by president Nasser, and Sudan after after independence.
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+1 #28 Ben K 2017-12-04 19:54
Quoting Younis:

Another side note: the 1959 treaty is definitely not a colonial treaty. It was made between the republic of Egypt, led by president Nasser, and Sudan after after independence.

[quote name="Younis"]

So, if Sudan and Egypt signed the agreement, what got to do with the rest of the Nile basin countries and Ethiopia.

Now, Ethiopia and the rest of the Nile countries except Egypt and Sudan signed the same agreement to share and use the Nile water in 2010.
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0 #29 zizu 2017-12-06 03:26
we Ethiopian are disparity need this project for rejection for poverty .

the Egypt govt don't want to blind our success bur as citcives
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