Sudan reassures Egypt over rising Nile tensions

Sudan reassures Egypt over rising Nile tensions
Sudan's water resources minister said that his country would not use the River Nile's water as a weapon against Egypt, amid escalating tensions between the two countries.
2 min read
26 November, 2015
Moussa reassured Egypt about its share of the Nile's water [AFP]
The Sudanese minister of water resources and electricity Moataz Moussa has said that his country would not use the Nile's water against Egypt.

"We are keen on showing restraint," the minister said in a statement. "We will not resort to using water resources as a weapon.

"Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam will ensure the country fully benefits from its share of the Nile water," he added.

Last week, Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail stated that Egypt still had concerns related to national security and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

According to Ismail, the concerns are threefold: "Egypt's historical water share from the Nile river, making sure that the dam will not affect Egypt's water share, and ensuring that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is not used for any political purpose other than generating electricity."

We are keen on showing restraint, and we will not resort to using water resources as a weapon.
- Moataz Moussa

Egypt's irrigation minister, Hossam Moghazi, said Cairo was not against development in any country, "but there are fundamental concerns for Egypt, among them is keeping our share of the Nile River".

Egypt has repeatedly expressed concerns that Ethiopia's $4.2 billion dam would negatively affect its share of Nile water resources.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the construction of which is said to be at least 40 percent complete and is set to be completed in 2017, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant, with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic metres of water.

Tensions between Khartoum and Cairo have recently escalated, following a range of other disputes and complaints.

Earlier this month, the Sudanese embassy in Cairo submitted a memo to the Egyptian foreign ministry inquiring about a recent surge in the abuse and mistreatment by security forces in Egypt.

On Tuesday, Sudanese foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour and his Egyptian counterpart Samih Shoukry agreed to form a joint committee to address the recent claims about the abuse of Sudanese nationals in Egypt.

Meanwhile, Sudan's justice minister Awad Hassan al-Nour spoke to his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed al-Zend on Monday about the deaths of more than twenty Sudanese migrants attempting to infiltrate the Israeli borders from the Sinai Peninsula.

Sudan has also lodged a complaint with the UN Security Council, after Egypt held elections on the disputed territory of the Halayeb triangle, which lies between the two countries.