Title: Sudan calls for Egypt to return to the Nile Basin Initiative
Author: SudaneseOnline News
Date: 12-30-2014, 02:37 AM
December 28, 2014-Khartoum-SudaneseOnline-Sudan’s Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity, Mutaz Musa, called on Egypt to return to the Nile Basin Initiative and open negotiation about the conflicting points, explaining that Sudan still works as a real member to contain differences on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), stressing that the negotiation and cooperation is the only way to achieve solution
Addressing the Permanent Joint Technical Commission for the Nile River on Sunday, Sudanese official said that the Commission should work out how to take advantage with the Nile basin countries and international and regional organizations working in this area, stressing that Sudan is moving ahead in its management of the water file is transparent and clear manner according to the agreement signed between the two countries in 1959.
Some neighboring countries are less upbeat about the project. Citing two treaties, dating from 1929 and 1959, Egypt claims a historic right over the Nile. It fears that the dam will restrict the flow of water. The treaties, signed with the UK and Sudan, allocate two-thirds of the Nile's water resources to Egypt, with the right to veto any project affecting the world's longest river.
"These treaties are now obsolete. We are entitled to build the dam," says Alemayehu Tegenu, Ethiopia's minister of water, energy and irrigation. "For a long time we derived no benefit from our river."
Mohamed Ghoneim, the Egyptian representative to the African Union, disagrees. "It's impossible to undertake a project on this scale without environmental impact studies to assess the consequences for downstream countries," he counters, speculating on a range of potential disasters: salt may accumulate in the soil; land downstream could turn to desert or the flow be interrupted; the dam might even break. "The Nile is a vital resource for 80 million Egyptians," he adds.