Saturday, November 25, 2017

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia tensions over dam flare up again | News & Observer

In this Oct. 6, 2017 photo, boats sail on the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt. Tensions between Egypt and upstream Nile basin countries Sudan and Ethiopia have flared up again over the construction and effects of a massive dam being built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile, the waterway’s main tributary. Egypt fears the dam will reduce its vital share of the river’s waters and accuses Addis Ababa of not sufficiently cooperating on containing the dam’s effects.
In this Oct. 6, 2017 photo, boats sail on the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt. Tensions between Egypt and upstream Nile basin countries Sudan and Ethiopia have flared up again over the construction and effects of a massive dam being built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile, the waterway’s main tributary. Egypt fears the dam will reduce its vital share of the river’s waters and accuses Addis Ababa of not sufficiently cooperating on containing the dam’s effects. Amr Nabil AP Photo

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia tensions over dam flare up again

NOVEMBER 23, 2017 08:59 AM
UPDATED NOVEMBER 23, 2017 09:00 AM

Ethiopia denies receiving funding from Qatar to build Renaissance Dam – Middle East Monitor


Image of the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia [file photo]
Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia [file photo]
On Thursday, Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Meles Alem defended the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project, she said that Addis Ababa does not need anyone’s permission to benefit from its natural resources and denied claims that his country is receiving funding from Qatar to build the Dam.
In a press conference with local media in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Meles stressed that the reports published by some Egyptian newspapers do not affect the construction work in the dam, pointing out that the percentage of these works’ implementation exceeded 60 per cent.
He added that what was published by some Egyptian media that Ethiopia is getting funding from Qatar for the construction of the Renaissance Dam is unfounded and he considered it “unacceptable,” stressing that the dam is built using the Ethiopian people’s funds.
He also pointed out that along with the construction works in the Renaissance Dam project, Ethiopia will continue to cooperate with Sudan and Egypt in the upcoming stages.
The spokesman added: “The 17th meeting on the Renaissance Dam ended in Cairo few days ago without consensus because of Egypt’s intention to include the colonial era agreements of 1929 – 1959 as part of the negotiations.”
Last week, Egypt announced that it has frozen technical negotiations with Sudan and Ethiopia following a tripartite meeting in Cairo, after Egyptian officials rejected the two countries’ amendments to the studies of the French Advisory Bureau on the Dam and its filling as well as operation.
Over the past few days, the Renaissance Dam matter drew the attention of all Egyptian newspapers and TV programs, both governmental and private.
Last Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said that no one could touch Egypt’s water share, stressing that it is a matter of “life or death,” in his first comment after his country announced the suspension of negotiations.
Egypt fears possible negative impacts of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on its 55.5 billion cubic meters share of water, while Addis Ababa says the dam is not aimed at harming Egypt. The electricity which would be generated by the dam will help eradicate poverty and boost Ethiopia’s developmental Renaissance.
Ethiopia has been criticizing old conventions that it said took place during colonial times, including the 1929 Convention, the 1953 Convention and the 1959 Convention.
The Convention of 1929 was signed by Egypt with the UK on behalf of “Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania,” as the three countries were under British occupation back then. It granted Cairo veto power over any project on the Nile in the upstream countries and Egypt’s natural and historical right in the Nile waters.
Egypt signed the 1953 Convention with the UK on behalf of Uganda regarding the construction of Owen Reservoir at the exit of Lake Victoria. The convention ensured that the construction and operation of the dam would not reduce the amount of water which reaches Egypt, modify its arrival date to Egypt or reduce its level in a way that might cause damage to Egypt’s interest.
As for the 1959 Convention, which Cairo signed with Khartoum, it includes full control of the Nile waters which reach the two countries. It also includes the approval of Egypt’s establishment of the Aswan High Dam, south of the country, and Sudan’s establishment of Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile.
It also concerns Egypt’s possession of its acquired right of 48 billion cubic meters of the Nile waters per year, as well as Sudan’s right of 4 billion cubic meters of the Nile waters per year and the distribution of the water benefit from the 22 billion cubic meters of the High Dam water per year to the two countries, so that Sudan gets 14.5 billion cubic meters and Egypt gets 7.5 billion cubic meters, bringing the annual total share of each country to 55.5 billion cubic meters to Egypt and 18.5 billion cubic meters to Sudan.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

#EBC ከታላቁ የሕዳሴ ግድብ ጋር በተያያዘ ኢትዮጵያ ከሱዳንና ግብፅ ጋር ተባብራ መስራትዋን እንደምትቀጥል የውጭ ...

Egypt's Nile water share a 'matter of life or death,' says Sisi after Ethiopia dam negotiations stall - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online


Ahram Online , Saturday 18 Nov 2017
Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during a televised talk during an inauguration of MENA's largest farm in Kafr El-Sheikh (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt’s share of the Nile's water is a "a matter of life or death for the nation," Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Saturday in his first comments on the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) since negotiations between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia stalled over the project last week.

In televised comments during the inauguration of the Middle East's largest fish farm in Kafr El-Sheikh, El-Sisi said Egyptians should "rest assured " since “no one can touch Egypt’s share of [Nile] water.”
"We've talked to our brothers in Sudan and Ethiopia from the very beginning about three points, including not touching the water [of Egypt's share]," he said.
The president added that he understands the developmental goals behind the GERD, but that development for Ethiopia in this case is a "matter of life and death" for Egypt.
Last week, negotiations between the three countries broke down over how to conduct technical studies of the dam's potential impact on downstream countries.
Egyptian officials have expressed concern over repeated delays, especially given that construction of the dam is already well underway.
Next month, President El-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn are scheduled to meet in Cairo to discuss the deadlock.
The dam, situated near Ethiopia's border with Sudan, is slated for completion this year and expected to generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity.
Ethiopia hopes to be able to export electricity generated by the dam, which will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa.
Egypt, however, has expressed concerns that the dam might reduce its share of Nile water.
Ethiopia maintains that the dam will not have any negative impact on Egypt or Sudan.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Presidents Set For More Talks On The Nile



By Gerald Tenywa
Added 16th October 2017 01:16 PM
Egypt and Sudan, which are favoured by two colonial agreements of 1929 and 1959 were opposed to the fresh agreement (Cooperative Framework Agreement opened for signing in May 2010) on grounds that it does not recognise their historical rights.
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NILE BASIN IMPASSE

A new move to fast track the resolution of the impasse over sharing of the waters of River Nile will involve regular meetings of presidents in the countries sharing the Nile Basin.

This follows a recommendation from the Nile Summit which was chaired by President Yoweri Museveni and convened at State House, Entebbe, three months ago.

“The heads of state provide the highest level of engagement on Nile issues,” said Sam Cheptoris, the Minister of Water and Environment in Uganda, adding that the Summit at Entebbe wanted to constitute the heads of states in the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) and meet regularly.

He was  speaking at the Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-Com) convened at Imperial Botanical Resort Beach, Entebbe last week. Nile-COM is the highest decision-making organ on all political and development matters relating to the Nile Basin Initiative.

The meeting was attended by Ministers in charge of Water Affairs from Burundi, Sudan and Uganda. Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania sent representatives.

The countries in the catchment of the Nile are Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Egypt, Eretria and DR Congo. Eretria is an observer.

Egypt and Sudan, which are favoured by two colonial agreements of 1929 and 1959 were opposed to the fresh agreement (Cooperative Framework Agreement opened for signing in May 2010) on grounds that it does not recognise their historical rights. Both countries pulled out of NBI but Sudan later agreed to return. The countries in the Nile Basin have been discussing to resolve outstanding issues for Egypt to participate in the NBI meetings.

NBI is a framework which was set up in 1999 is a Programme of the 11 countries funded by several donors including the World Bank, GIZ and EU. It has been facilitating the meetings of the ministers and technical negotiators. It was expected to produce two outcomes; the Nile Cooperative Framework and the Nile Basin Commission.    

The meeting on Thursday came up with NBI’s 10-year Strategy referred to as the new strategy, approved by the Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM). The strategy captures the development goals of the NBI, considering the prevailing context and challenges in the Nile Basin as well as priorities in the catchment of the Nile.

“These have been conceptualized into six goals; namely increasingly hydropower, development and power trade; improving food security; protecting and restoring ecosystems across the basin,” said Kebede Gerba, State Minister, for Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia.

“The other goals are improving basin resilience to climate change impacts; strengthening trans-boundary water governance in the Nile Basin as well as enhancing availability and sustainable management of trans-boundary water resources of the Nile Basin.”

Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Dr. Eng. Sileshi Bekele replaced Uganda’s Minister of Water and Environment, Sam Cheptoris. Ethiopia will chair both the Nile Council of Ministers and the Nile Technical Advisory Committee of the NBI for the next one year. 

The Nile-COM is the highest decision-making organ on all political and development matters relating to the Nile Basin Initiative. The meeting was attended by Ministers in charge of Water Affairs from Burundi, Sudan and Uganda. Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania sent representatives.                                                                          
“The River Nile is one of the world’s great assets. As such, cooperation is not a choice, but a necessity, if we are to achieve its sustainable management and development. This is important for Member States to jointly address the shared challenges such as climate change and environmental degradation,” said Gerba.

He said the Nile Basin Development Forum will be hosted by Rwanda on October 23-25, 2017. Rwanda will also host the Nile Media Awards ceremony on October 23, 2017 as well as a Strategic Dialogue Forum between NBI and development partners on October 26, 2017.

Ministers of Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia inspect Renaissance Dam - Egypt Today

Water supply ministers of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia at the construction area of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – Press Photo by Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation and Water Supply Water supply ministers of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia at the construction area of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – Press Photo by Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation and Water Supply

CAIRO – 17 October 2017: The Water supply ministers of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia visited the construction area of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on Tuesday. They met to check up on the construction progress by visiting six sites that lie inside, outside, and at the borders of the reservoir.



The ministers and the members of the technical committee listened to the project manager give an overview of the constructions at the right and left sides of the dam.



The manager stressed on Ethiopia’s eagerness to secure its needs from energy and push for economic development while fulfilling the interests of the Nile Basin countries.



This visit aims to follow up on the studies recommended by the International Panel of Experts regarding the effects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile Basin States.



Since the beginning of the dam's construction in 2011, the upstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, opposed the technical studies of the dam as it would decrease their share in the Nile water resources by 55.5 billion cubic meters and 18.5 billion cubic meters respectively.



However, Ethiopia denies that other downstream countries will be adversely affected by the dam and the prospect of war was raised in 2013 and 2014.



President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi signed a tripartite joint cooperation agreement in Khartoum on March 23, 2015, between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. The three countries held 14 rounds of consultation on resolving the disputes over the Renaissance Dam. However, these rounds failed to solve the dispute.



Consequently, the Nile Basin countries asked the French firm Artelia Group to join the French consulting group BRL Ingénierie in 2016, while they study the documents of the dam’s construction; assessing the hydrological, environmental, and economic impact of the mega project on the downstream countries

Monday, October 9, 2017

Egypt: ‘Obstacles’ threaten agreement over Ethiopia dam – Middle East Monitor

Egypt: ‘Obstacles’ threaten agreement over Ethiopia dam

Constriction work on the Renaissance dam in Ethiopia on 21 August 2015 [Sigma PlantFinder/Twitter]
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that there are obstacles threatening the tripartite “Declaration of Principles” signed in March 2015 by Cairo, Sudan and Ethiopia over a dam being built by the latter on the Nile River.
Shoukry’s remarks came in an interview with the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper yesterday, where he said Egypt “couldn’t overcome” these obstacles.
The minister noted that the agreement includes Ethiopia’s acknowledgement of the do-no-harm principle in a document signed with the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. The document also stipulates that “Egypt acknowledges the dam and Ethiopia’s developmental needs and Sudan would be a third party in this equation,” Shoukry added.
“The agreement includes the acknowledgement by the three parties that any repercussions resulting from the [construction of] the dam must be approved by a non-biased party so that conflict will not occur, and the non-biased entity would refer to purely scientific considerations, and scientific facts and equations that are not subject to interpretation.”
The Egyptian foreign minister also commented on the technical aspect, pointing to “slowness” and “obstacles” that could not be overcome at the technical or political levels. He said that these obstacles “threaten the principles that the tripartite agreement were based on” without giving details on the nature of those obstacles.
In line with another deal reached in September 2016, the three parties to the agreement are awaiting the results of a technical report that is being prepared by two consulting companies on the Ethiopian dam and the damage it could cause to other countries that share Nile waters, mainly Egypt.
The technical report must be completed before the dam is fully constructed, Shoukry told Al-Ahram, because it will affect any decisions related to the phase of filling the dam and the rules that will be adopted for operating it.
“Achievements on this path are not at the pace we hope for, and we urge our partners in Ethiopia and Sudan to interact in a way that will create confidence, reinforce agreements and avoid any confrontation.”
“At the same time, we know very well what our interests are and the threats that we might be subjected to, and we act in every phase in line with developments. We do not pre-empt events or assume things in a theoretical manner, but that does not mean that we do not prepare ourselves for any orientation, disagreement or approach.”