Sudan asks Egypt to rejoin Nile Basin body

June 19, 2014 1:48 pm
Satellite picture of the northern section of the river Nile/AFP
Satellite picture of the northern section of the river Nile/AFP

, KHARTOUM, June 19- Sudan on Thursday appealed for Egypt to resume full participation in a 10 nation Nile River forum, four years after Cairo withdrew over fears for its access to the crucial water source.

Egypt has limited its participation in the Nile Basin Initiative since 2010 when Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania signed a new treaty on equitable sharing of Nile waters.

Burundi and Kenya later also inked the deal which stripped Egypt of its power to veto upstream irrigation and hydropower projects.

The Cooperative Framework Agreement replaced a decades old pact that gave Egypt and Sudan rights over more than 90 percent of the Nile’s waters.

Egypt is almost entirely dependent on water from the Nile.

To protest the 2010 pact, Cairo withdrew from the Nile Basin Initiative, a forum for riparian countries to discuss joint management and development of the region’s resources.

“I should like to place an appeal to our sister nation Egypt. Please, your seat is still empty,” Sudan’s Minister of Water Resources and Electricity, Muattaz Musa Abdallah Salim, said at the annual meeting of Nile Basin water ministers.

“Your resumption of your activities in NBI will further consolidate our gains and integrity in the region,” Salim said.

Egypt did send a delegation to the Khartoum talks because they are a chance to discuss the controverial Framework Agreement, Ahmed Abu Zeid, counsellor with Egypt’s foreign ministry, told AFP on the sidelines of the talks.

But except for such ministerial meetings Cairo has not participated in any other NBI programmes or bodies since 2010, he said.

Egypt’s new Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Hussein Mohamed al Mughazi was not part of the Cairo delegation because he was only sworn in on Tuesday, Abu Zeid said.



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