A source of Egypt’s concern is that the Entebbe Agreement replaces the Nile Basin Initiative and it outlines each country’s share in loose terms and supposedly divides water supplies depending on each state’s individual concerns and needs. Yet, the agreement will distribute water in a way that remains “fair and equitable” and this is the very thing that Egypt considers to be a threat because it currently enjoys more than its fair share of the Nile’s resources due to the current agreement. Thus, Egypt has taken a clear and firm decision not to sign the new agreement unless “it is guaranteed its full share of water from the Nile”, the former Minister of Irrigation said.
Solution And Salvation On The Horizon
Whether it is in regard to the Millennium Dam or the Entebbe Convention, it is not in Sudan or Egypt’s best interest to remain as they are, in a position that counters the rest of the African countries with which they share the Nile’s tributaries and basin. Their current position is somewhat controversial.
As of now, six out of the nine Nile basin countries have signed the agreement and they are: Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Sudan. The critical question here is: can Egypt afford to engage in an active war that not only confronts all of these countries but also threatens its water security? At the end of the day, the question of water supply is a life or death issue that would place Egypt’s wellbeing in jeopardy. This potential war is considered by many to be a strategic mistake on many fronts.
In my opinion, the Entebbe Convention is the first solution to calming this situation and on the other front the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is needed for the time being.
It is Egypt’s responsibility to avoid threatening other countries with military force for every year since the Khedive’s rule, they have devised a new military strategy to intervene should their interests in the Nile and its waters be threatened or jeopardised. At the end of the day, Egypt does not want to enter into any conflicts, whether technical or economic, with the African countries of the Nile Basin because this war will undoubtedly go beyond the African dimension.
The Sudanese government has often criticised Egypt for its position concerning the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and they have expressed that it is not an issue for Khartoum. The Sudanese government has also expressed their desire to remove this issue from its technical and governmental framework and has warned the Egyptian government that, should the relationship between Khartoum and Cairo be jeopardised over this matter, it will only open the door to bigger and more serious disagreements.
As for Ethiopia, it has stated that the Grand Renaissance Dam is 32 per cent complete and that they are ready for any confrontation from the Egyptian government. According to Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn his country is ready “to face all options and possibilities”. The only reasonable solution in this scenario would be to come up with an agreement between Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa that would be signed by a tripartite committee dedicated to solving this matter.