JUBA, 22 February 2021 – South Sudan is under pressure from Ethiopia to sign on to the 2010 Nile Basin agreement that is opposed by both Ethiopia and Sudan.
South Sudan needs to protect its share of the Nile river, the deputy Ethiopian head of mission to South Sudan, Zelalem Birhan Alemu, told Eye Radio over the weekend.
Put in place to ensure that Nile member countries have equitable access to the water resources of the Nile.
Egypt and Sudan were on board with the negotiations when they opened in 1999 but refused to sign the final agreement when it was finalized in 2010.
“We are calling South Sudanese and the officials here to ratify that agreement so that future problems will be averted,” Alemu told Eye Radio..
The agreement was supposed to avoid the kind of problems that Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt are currently seeking ways to resolve over Ethiopia’s decision to fill its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) whether or not an agreement is reached with Egypt and Sudan.
The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is an intergovernmental partnership of ten Nile Basin countries, namely Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, The Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Eritrea participates in the Nile Basin Initiative as an observer.
The initiative was established, on 22nd February, 1999, “to provide a forum for consultation and coordination among the Basin States for the sustainable management and development of the shared Nile Basin water and related resources for win-win benefits,” the organization’s website reads in part.