|« Number of Somali refugees in eastern Ethiopia swells to 170,000||Egypt sees Ethiopia's planned dam on the Nile River as a threat to its national security »|
Ethiopia - Egypt : Is a war over the Nile still imminent?
By DEBAY TADESSE
Until the recent positive signs of cooperation between some of the Nile riparian states, disputes between the downstream and upper riparian states over rights to the waters of the Nile have been a contentious issue for centuries.
The outcome of the Nile water negotiations could have profound consequences for the region and the African continent. In May 2010, five upstream states signed a Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) to access more water from the Nile. This move was strongly opposed by Egypt and Sudan. Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania were original signatories with Burundi signing in February 2011. The CFA is designed to replace both the 1929 treaty and the 1959 bilateral agreement between Sudan and Egypt, which is now considered to be the main bone of contention among the riparian states. Egypt dismissed the CFA out of hand.
Subsequently, Ethiopia began to construct the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is expected to be a 63 billion cubic metre reservoir. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will be Africa's largest hydroelectric facility and its construction started 40km upstream from Sudan on the Ethiopian portion of the Blue Nile. Although Ethiopia has agreed not to use the reservoir for irrigation, the new dam has become a problem for Egypt.
According to a recent WikiLeaks report, Sudan agreed to host an Egyptian airbase in Kuris in the west of its Darfur region. Consequently, this base could be used to launch an Egyptian assault on the Ethiopian dam, if diplomatic efforts fail.
The WikiLeaks report, emanating from Stratfor, a private intelligence agency, also claimed that Egyptian officials said: 'If it comes to a crisis, we will send a jet to bomb the dam and come back in one day, as simple as that. Or we can send our special forces in to block/sabotage the dam.'
It is clear that Ethiopia's giant hydroelectric dam project, which is underway, signals the seriousness of regional resentment over the previous treaties on sharing the waters of the Nile. Egypt and Sudan hold absolute rights to 100% of the river's water under the treaty signed in 1929 between Egypt and Britain, which was then the colonial power in Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. This treaty was reinforced by the 1959 agreement between Egypt and Sudan where the Nile waters were divided between the two downstream nations. Both the 1929 and the 1959 agreements were rejected by many of these countries after they had attained independence.
Amid the mistrust, suspicion, controversy and threat of conflict over the use of the Nile waters, on 8 October 2012 a ten-member committee of experts and professionals from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia began to discuss the possible impact of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The committee also visited the construction site, in accordance with Article 3(8) of the CFA that states the principle 'that the Nile Basin states exchange information on planned measures through the Nile River Basin Commission as part of the Nile Basin
Initiative (NBI)'. This is also in accordance with Article 7, which states: '[I]n pursuance of their cooperation concerning the use, development and protection of the Nile River Basin and its water resources, Nile Basin states shall on a regular basis exchange readily available and relevant data and information on existing measures and on the condition of water resources of the Basin.'
At the same time, on the sidelines of the meetings, the Nile Tripartite Committee composed of experts drawn from Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan and four international experts, including the International Panel of Experts (IPoE), also met. The objective of the meeting was to continue studying the possible impact of the dam on downstream countries, particularly Egypt and Sudan.
Tensions in the Horn of Africa are of great concern to the international community, due to its volatility. Water scarcity, food insecurity, climate-induced migration and poverty are increasingly being experienced in many parts of the riparian states. Conflicts emerging here might spread political, social and economic instability to surrounding areas. Conflict is likely to emerge as long as the downstream states believe their interests in the shared water resource are threatened by the actions of the upstream states. In addition, conflict over the Nile's waters could also fan existing conflicts in the region, making them more complex and harder to address.
However, instead of conflict, the Nile waters could lead to greater interdependence through cooperation and mutual benefits. By coming together to jointly manage their shared water resources, countries could build trust and prevent conflict. In the face of potential conflict and regional instability, the Nile basin countries should continue to seek cooperative solutions. The political will to develop a new legal framework for managing the Nile should continue.
Finally, it should be noted that the only promising way of avoiding future conflicts in the utilisation of the Nile waters remains focusing on a systematic collaboration among all stakeholders that would maximise the mutual benefits for all sides while contributing to the social, economic and political development of the region.
DEBAY TADESSE is Senior Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division at ISS Addis Ababa (Institute Of Security Studies)
No way we Ethiopians inside and out will pay whatever it takes. It is our own resorce and no one will stop us using it.No matter what we all will come togther and protect our country from our enemies like Egypt.
Death to Egypt and all of our enemies
Long life to Ethiopia
Both Egypt and Ethiopia need is a free and democratic government not one who tries to prolong his reign of terror by beating the war drum. Ethiopians and Egyptians need more than anything else freedom not war. If there is a free and democratic government all problems will be solved in a free and democratic way - people participation is important and the national issues should not be left to some blood suckers.
Egypt they have to stop what they are doing right now before getintg worest . just take ur tax payer money from usa.( walfare )
koster ::this is not aboutdemocracy this is about national interest learn from Americans stupid!!
Water s the future oil. Saudi needs some part of Nile as Libya did. Nile is for all of us Libya Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Thank you Kenya for you gave good answer for Koster. It’s clear there are few of us and some of not Ethiopians don’t know what is country. Is this kind of issue is not about democracy, it’s privilege. Is that mean if there no democratic government in Ethiopia (if this person an Ethiopian) he/she will not stand or fight to keep Ethiopia’s rights? Bad, very bad. No mind for this person. The good thing is 99% of one country’s population stand for their country’s right. So Egypt will not do anything at all. Not at all. Again not at all. Again 99% of Ethiopian people will fight for our interest as anyone else. Stay to see everything.
@Koster, Your point does not make sense.Freedom and democracy is not a solution for all things.For instance,relatively there is freedom and democratically elected government in Israelis and Palestinians but they still fight for piece of land for nearly a century.
koster, you’re an idiot!
KENYA, thank you!
War between the 2 countries is inevitable. Both countries are poor and politically unstable, with rapidly expanding populations. There just isn’t enough water for everyone. Egypt simply will not allow its legal share of water to be diminished in any way.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS! IT IS OF NO USE YOU CALL NAMES AND USE ABUSIVE WORDS FOR NOTHING. IT IS ABOVE AND BEYOND YOUR ABILITY TO ARGUE ABOUT THE NILE ISSUES, UNLESS, YOU WERE AT THE CONFERENCE. YOU MUST KNOW THE SITUATIONS FROM THE BEGINNING, WAY BACK 1929 AGREEMENT AND THERE ARE RISKS THAT LEADS EVERYONE TO INCLUDE THE COMING GENERATIONS. SOME OF YOU CANNOT EVEN SPELL WHAT YOU ARE WRITING AND TALK ABOUT THE ETHIOPIAN AND EGYPTIAN NILE SITUATLION.
If you have read the 1959 agreement,Nile challenges lie ahead of the Nile Water Sharing. In fact, “Egypt must first realize that it faces a major threat to its national security; water is vital to a major agricultural country like Egypt, and the Nile provides the country with 86 percent of its water needs and about 92 percent of the water used in agriculture,” explains Mohamed Ibrahim, an assistant professor of agricultural economics at Alexandria University.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has abstained from signing for the time being, preferring more negotiations. Egypt and Sudan have refused to sign, declaring their stand behind a 1959 sharing agreement allocating them a majority of the water. The 1959 agreement came as a revisited version of the first agreement dating back to 1929, formulated between Egypt and Britain on behalf of Britain’s African colonies. It gave Egypt veto power over upstream projects and the lion’s share of Nile water.
In 1959, the agreement was revised between Egypt and Sudan, giving the two countries absolute rights to use 90 percent of the river’s waters. According to the current 1959 Nile agreement that is still in place today, Egypt has exclusive use of 55.5 billion cubic meters — or 87 percent of the Nile flow — with Sudan enjoying the exploitation of 18.5 cubic meters of the water.
Nile Basin countries have long called for a new treaty to delineate a more equitable distribution of water. After almost 10 years of lengthy negotiations, the Cooperative Framework Agreement was formulated in 2010 and was immediately signed by Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Burundi signed a year later.
Very good article but its up to Egypt and Sudan to cooperate in this matter rather than bragging about out dated colonial evil deal they had to remind you all both Egypt and Sudan never contribute single pocket of water into Nile.They should have thank the Ethiopian Government for willing to be flexible and share it’s natural resource. Do they share their natural resource to any one ? NO!
“Win Win solution is better than foot dragging like Egyptian”
if it is bring and Collapse down the so called TPLF,
YES MILLION YES, WAR IS NECESSARY TO SEE
TPLF FAKE AND EMPTY PRIDE,
EGYPT IS NOT SOMALIA,
@KENEYA,Tameru, and others,
National interest with out freedom and democracy is like a house with out a foundation!!!
It is the base for every thing. Don’t afraid the word and the action of democracy,freedom and equality. It willn’t hurt nobody [Ethiopia, Egypt,Sudan,You and Me]!!!
Democracy and freedom are the basic tools for every thing in this world.
If there is no peace beween Isreal and palastien; mostly the problem comes from the Palistinen side and the hard liners from Isrealis sides. This two groups don’t believe from the bottom of their hart in freedom and democracy. It is the same with most Ethiopians and CADRES.
All we hear here and there on the Blue Nile Final issues are simple speculations .Not a single word from
any Agazi Authority on the environmental consequences .The Hidden agreement with the El Beshir Regime on the lands given to Sudan .
The Renaissance Dam Project smells more Agazi Bandits Propagandas based on ,diverting peoples from their sad days to days life , promoting the Image
of their Dead Master and TPLF.
Egypt is trying to exploit the change that has and is taking place in Ethiopia, after the death of the late PM. It sees an inherent weakness in the administration, because power change in Ethiopia has always been through upheavals, and still she has not lost the hope that Ethiopians would be at each other’s throat due to ethnic-fueled power conflict.
Egypt believes that the new PM is from a minority ethnic group, power continues to lie in the hands of TPLF, HMD is a vulnerable duck and therefore she can twist his arms. With the help of international lobbyists and journalists who are ready to spew fear on payment, Egypt is using the armed-conflict-fear-factor, as if Ethiopians do not know what war is, and as if they are going to lose their sleep over it.
It would be a very sad phenomenon,if we are going to see some Ethiopians, whatever their religion, be it Christian or Muslims, out of hate and ignorance are ready to sacrifice Ethiopia (their home and country) to a foreign power. Such phenomenon is fortunately extremely rare; nevertheless, such people as individuals or as a group might act as Trojan horses for the sinister actions of Egypt, and they should be deterred by all means possible. Egypt is counting on insurgency and mobilization of those forces within and outside the country that hate the very essence of Ethiopia.
Ethiopians need unity more than any time in their entire history. The measures taken at government level should be decisive. Ethiopians should always be ready to defend the dam. The government should mobilize all nations, nationalities and tribes and all religious groups. If Ethiopia’s endeavor of making the Nile a river equally shared by the three countries fails, and the colonial treaty that is nothing else but an insult to Ethiopia’s dignity as the source of the Blue Nile remains, it means hunger and death for their children, darkness and an impoverished life forever as it has been up to now.
Much more than anything else, the Nile should bind all Ethiopians, and defending or not defending the God-given rights of Ethiopia means life or death. If Ethiopia loses her rights now, she will lose it forever. This generation of Ethiopians will be condemned by posterity for betraying the future of the country, and they will have every right to do so. It is now or never.
Since concern with the free flow of the Nile has always been a national security issue for Egypt, as far as the Blue Nile goes, it has been held that Egypt must be in a position either to dominate Ethiopia, or to neutralize whatever unfriendly regime might emerge there. As the late President Sadat stated: ” Any action that would endanger the waters of the Blue Nile will be faced with a firm reaction on the part of Egypt, even if that action should lead to war.”
“Egypt is a country that has not abandoned its expansionist ambitions. It regards its southern neighbors as its sphere of influence. Its strategy is essentially negative: to prevent the emergence of any force that could challenge its hegemony, and to thwart any economic development along the banks of the Nile that could either divert the flow of the water, or decrease its volume. The arithmetic of the waters of the Blue Nile River is, therefore, a zero-sum game that Egypt is determined to win. It must have a hegemonic relationship with the countries of the Nile Valley and the Horn of Africa. When, for instance, Ethiopia is weak and internally divided, Egypt can rest. But when Ethiopia is prosperous and self-confident, playing a leading role in the region, Egypt is worried.”
With that end in mind, Egypt controlled the port of Massawa from 1865 to 1885 and occupied parts of present-day northwestern Eritrea from 1872-1884 with a view to using these areas as basis for military operations against the rest of Ethiopia. As noted earlier, Egypt’s military adventures were brought to a halt, at least temporarily, by its disastrous defeats at Gura and Gundet. By using its occupation of certain parts of what was to become Eritrea as proof of historical legitimacy, as early as 1945 Egypt instigated the Arab League to declare its intention to put Eritrea under the Trusteeship of the Arab nations. Moreover, at the Paris Peace Conference of 1946, Egypt also advanced an outright claim to Eritrea. In fact, on April 15, 1950, when the U.N. Commission on Eritrea visited Cairo to consult with the Egyptian Government, Foreign Minister Salah El-Din maintained: “Italian expansion in Africa was inaugurated by an encroachment upon the rights of Egypt. Egypt has been in Eritrea and in Massawa long before the Italians had driven it out, and at a time when power was the dominating factor over rights.”
When Egypt’s outright claim to Eritrea failed, Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had come to power subsequently, launched a campaign for the unity of the Nile Valley. However, his “unity” proposal gave the impression that it was aimed at bringing Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Sudan, Somaliland, Somalia, Uganda and Kenya under Egypt’s control.
The broadcasts of Radio Cairo started to remind Ethiopian Muslims where their “primary loyalties” lay. Providing scholarships to Muslim Eritreans at Al-Azahar University followed suit, and soon, Cairo became the center for the Eritrean Student Union in the Middle East. In 1958, a small military training camp for Eritreans was also opened near Alexandria, where some of the future military commanders received their initial training. Idris Mohammed Adem, the former President of the Eritrean Parliament, Ibrahim Sultan, Secretary General of the Islamic League, and Wolde ab Wolde Mariam, President of the Eritrean Labour Unions, and others were encouraged to go to Egypt. Wolde Ab was given a special radio program and began to broadcast to Eritrea from Radio Cairo. He sought to undermine Haile Selassie’s Government and urged Eritreans to take up arms and to struggle for their independence.
No sooner had Haile Selassie’s government made Eritrea Ethiopia’s 14th province by dismantling its United Nations-sponsored federal status in 1960, than Egypt took advantage of the situation to establish an office in Cairo, for what came to be known as the Eritrean Liberation Front, ELF. The front started the most protracted militarily and economically debilitating civil war Ethiopia has known in recent memory. The struggle, which ensued, pitted Eritrean Muslims against Eritrean Christians, highlanders against lowlanders, the ELF against the EPLF, and most of the Eritrean elite against governments in Addis Ababa and contributed strongly to political instability, economic decline, and social turmoil. Cairo’s overt and covert role in the creation of the ELF was fairly obvious. In fact, even two years before the outbreak of the rebellion, the idea that the ELF was preparing to launch its military campaigns was an open secret in Egypt. Moreover, the Ethiopian Embassy in Cairo had warned the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that Egypt was behind the preparation of the military insurrection of the ELF.
Thanks to the good offices of Egypt also, the April 1962 conference of the Arab League promised the ELF its full solidarity and support, because it was allegedly claimed that the Eritreans were Arabs and overwhelmingly Muslims, that they were struggling against the forces of Zionism, American imperialism, and Ethiopian colonialism, that in violation of its status as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, Ethiopia had provided the United States with military bases to spy on the U.S.S.R. and the Arab countries of the Middle East, that Ethiopia had provided Israel access into some of the strategic islands of the Red Sea like the Dahlak, where Israel had allegedly built military bases to undermine the peace and security of the Arab world, and that the Red Sea should be considered an Arab lake, because all the states surrounding it are Arab. The major objective of the last strategy was designed to impede Israeli navigation on the Red Sea and also to make Ethiopia land locked by helping its Red Sea province, Eritrea, attain its independence and join the Arab League. These and similar other reasons were provided to justify Egyptian assertiveness and malevolence and the involvement of countries like Syria, Iraq, Libya, Kuwait, Yemen and others. By internationalizing what was essentially an Ethiopian domestic affair, Egypt, therefore, succeeded in converting the Eritrean problem into an extension of the Arab-Israeli disputes, and exploited Ethiopia’s predicament to its advantage.
Given the imperatives of “cold war” rhetoric and power politics, undermining the pro-American and pro-Israeli government of Haile Selassie was important for Egypt. But its interest in the waters of the Blue Nile figured prominently on its political agenda. Few would doubt that Egypt’s overriding motivation was the perceived need to have enough leverage to force Ethiopia to abandon some of its activities on the river, and to thwart the threat that Ethiopia posed to the Nile waters. By promoting the Eritrean insurrection, Egypt made sure that Ethiopia would divert both its efforts and its resources into quelling the Eritrean uprising-resources that could have been utilized in tapping the waters of the Blue Nile for development purposes. By providing the necessary military, ideological, political, and diplomatic support for the insurrection, Egypt effectively undermined Ethiopia. As a result of the insurrection, which lasted thirty years, thousands of people were killed, thousands were uprooted and displaced, and millions of dollars worth of property was destroyed.
Needless to say that the ensuing turmoil and instability was beneficial for Egypt. Cairo was able to use these advantages to secure the flow of a disproportionate amount of water to its territory, and also to force Ethiopia to squander its scarce resources, and in the process, to ally with the USA and Israel at one time, and with the Soviet Union, the Socialist countries of Eastern Europe, and Cuba at another time, with all the attendant consequences that such alliances entailed.
People be ware. TPLF and foreigners are setting Ethiopia up to go to war with Egypt. Not one blood should be spilled because TPLF is not taking warning as if it has strength against the superpowers that support Egypt. They have been warning Ethiopia now and they could create war, uncessary war when Ethiopia is at her weakest point. What do you think? It is a set up.
The above post by History Lesson (visitor) should be read by all Ethiopians if possible!
Gudfela, I think you are Egypt’s spy. I think Ethiopian Review, some Ethiopians in the diaspora and those demonstrating muslims in Addis are financed by the Egyptians, ofcourse through Eritrea.
adoption agriculture airline airlines athletics aviation business caf china crime diaspora drought dv economy ecx energy eritrea «ethiopian airlines» famine fashion football health hydroelectric ict immigration investment islam it manufacturing media «meles zenawi» migration mobile muslim nile olympic olympics phone politics power press rail railway religion soccer sport style technology telecom wikileaks