Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sudan: Water secure but Egypt worries over South Sudan

Bikyamasr: The Sudanese government attempted to reassure Egypt over water resources in light of the recent independence of South Sudan. Sudanese Information Minister Sana Hamad al-Awadi said that Khartoum does not believe South Sudan will go against international agreements that give Egypt the lion’s share of Nile River water.

Al-Awadi continued to say that the South is not needed to address the situation, pointing to continued coordination between Sudan and Egypt on Nile Basin deals. The Sudanese minister said that the water, which comes through the White Nile from the south, “does not represent a problem for the Republic of Sudan, because it represents about 14 percent of the water coming through the south to Sudan” and ultimately Egypt.

However, with the infant new country, Egypt has a number of worries that South Sudan, which now sees itself in control of much of the Nile water and its path toward Egypt, could join the opposition to Cairo and Khartoum over maintaining what many upstream nations say is an “unjust” water-sharing agreement.

“We are certainly concerned over the future of our water security, but we must give South Sudan time to see what is right,” said Amr Hassan, an environment ministry official. Egypt has already attempted to throw some carrots to Juba through infrastructure projects, including at least four electricity stations.

Cairo has repeatedly refused to sign onto any convention without assurances by other Nile Basin Initiative members that the country would not lose the 55.5 billion cubic meters of Nile water they are allowed to use and demanded a veto power over any projects implemented upstream in southern Nile nations....

Map of South Sudan from the CIA's World Factbook, July 12, 2011

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