Saturday, June 15, 2013

South Sudan backs Ethiopia’s Nile dam

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
June 14, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) –
The Governments of South Sudan has voiced support to a Ethiopia’s controversial Nile Dam project which the country is building along the Nile river, while Addis Ababa minimised Egyptian statements about war against Ethiopia.
South Sudanese chief negotiator expressed Thursday his country’s position on the construction of the Giant power plant being built some 30-40 Kilometers from Sudan border.
Speaking to Reporters in Addis Ababa, Pagan Amum, said Ethiopia dam project will benefit not only to Ethiopia but also to the current and future generations of Sudan and Egypt.
Ethiopia is currently exporting hydropower processes cheap Electricity to Djibouti and Sudan.
"Ethiopia has the right to use the Nile water in terms of generation of electricity, in terms of irrigation, and the way we see this development is that it is not affecting the interest of Sudan or Egypt", Amum said.
Newly independent South Sudan which recently became a new member to Nile basin countries has called on Egypt and Ethiopia to cooperate and engage in a dialogue to resolve Nile water Dispute.

After Ethiopia recently diverted the course of the Nile River, Egyptian politicians are suggesting sabotage including military action and supporting local rebels to destroy the Dam project.
Ethiopia’s communication Minister, Bereket Simon, said Friday that the threats from Egypt are only psychological feud that aimed to divert the Egyptians away from their internal political instability.
Simon Down played a potential of war with Egypt over Nile.
“Egypt doesn’t have firm and justified reason to go to war with Ethiopia” he said adding “even if they have the willing the question is do they have the capacity?’’
Bereket further stressed that military action will never solve disputes over Nile.
Last Wednesday Ugandan President Museveni in a national address at the parliament backed the construction of the Dam saying that African nations need such a hydro power plant to spur their economies and to generate clean energy as well as to curb deforestation practices aimed for fuel.
Museveni further warned Egypt to restrain from what he said was “the chauvinistic statements” coming out of Cairo in connection with Ethiopia’s $ 4.8 billion mega hydropower project which the north African nation fears could diminish its annual water share from Nile River.
"I have seen statements in the media coming out of the government of Egypt about the commendable work of Ethiopia. What Ethiopia is doing is what governments in Africa should do," he said.
Khartoum dissociated itself from Egypt and supported the Dam construction saying the three countries should work together to resolve minors problems mentioned in a report prepared by international experts including Egypt and Sudan.
ETHIOPIA RATIFIES NILE PACT
Ethiopia’s 547-member parliament on Thursday unanimously endorsed the new Nile River Cooperative Framework Agreement, making the horn of Africa’s nation the first country to ratify the agreement reached in Uganda in 2010.
The move comes after days of fierce verbal exchanges between Cairo and Addis Ababa that escalated tensions rising fears to a possible military confrontation.
The Entebbe agreement which was signed by four Nile basins aims to reverse a colonial-era agreement that has granted Sudan and Egypt lions share to the Rivers water resources of which over 85 % of it originate in Ethiopia.
Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi are also signatories to the Framework Agreement legislatures of the countries are similarly expected to endorse the cooperative agreement.
At least six riparian countries have to ratify the agreement to overthrow the colonial era treaty Ethiopia-led other riparian countries argue that it has abandoned their right to equitable utilization of the water resources.
South Sudan has in the past announced plans to sign the cooperative framework agreement.
http://www.sudantribune.com