Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nile Basin states seek ‘collective’ negotiations

Mathias Ringa in the East African: Peaceful and collective negotiations must be encouraged in the quest for a comprehensive legal framework that can allow all the 10 states to equitably utilise the River Nile basin. According to Uganda’s deputy head of mission Idule Amoko, the 1929 treaty between Egypt and United Kingdom that gave the North African country a monopoly over the use of Nile water resources does not rise to the challenges of the present day.

“We are for the revision of the agreements through peace and collective negotiations by all states,” he said. “A comprehensive legal framework for equitable and just utilisation of the Nile resources by riparian states has to be put into place,” he added.

…Participants were drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Niger, Zambia, Egypt, South Africa among other countries. But an official from Egypt’s Ministry of International Co-operation, Marawan Badr, when reached for comment said Egypt may relax its hard stance on the utilisation of River Nile water resources if its historical and natural rights are guaranteed by other riparian countries.

“Egypt is not opposed to the sharing of the water resources provided that the other riparian countries guarantee us of water security. “There is no way we can continue to maintain a monopoly since the waters originates from other riparian countries and later ends in our country. We don’t have to quarrel as the water resources are enough for all of us.”…

Ripples on the wind create intricate wave patterns in a thick plume of dust over Egypt (right) and Libya (left), in this image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite


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