June 21, 2013
DAM BENEFICIAL to EGYPT
In his first public endorsement for the controversial Ethiopian renaissance dam, Bashir said that the dam “will not stop the water from Egypt” and added that it will only be used for electricity generation, calling for continuation of consultation among all concerned parties.
He acknowledged the “sensitivity” of the water issue for Egypt, saying that Sudan and Egypt’s water shares will not be impacted during the dam filling period.
The Sudanese president also expressed doubt the Nile Basin Initiative (Known as Entebbe agreement), which he said “ came from the World Bank not from the Nile Basin countries.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, formerly known as the Millennium Dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile 40km from the Sudanese border.
Egypt and Sudan had previously argued that the construction of the dam would negatively affect their water shares and insisted the project should be blocked, calling on international donors against funding it.
Egypt believes its “historic rights” to the Nile are guaranteed by two treaties from 1929 and 1959 which allow it 87 percent of the Nile’s flow and give it veto power over upstream projects.
But a new deal (Entebbe agreement) was signed in 2010 by other Nile Basin countries, including Ethiopia, allowing them to work on river projects without Cairo’s prior agreement.