Nile River Water War?

(Boston Globe) Robert I. Rotberg - Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda are asserting their rights to more of the Nile River. When Britain in the 1920s controlled all of the waters of the Nile, it signed a pact that gave Egypt and Sudan rights to nearly 75% of its annual flow. Egypt and Sudan have refused to sign a new 2010 Cooperative Framework Agreement that would give all upstream states equal access to the resources of the river. Egypt has declared the Nile waters a "red line" that affects its "national security." There is discussion in Egypt about the use of air power to threaten upstream offenders, especially if Ethiopia becomes too demanding. Egyptian generals claim that Israel is helping upstream nations by encouraging their thirst for water and by financing the construction of four hydroelectric projects in Ethiopia. The writer directs the Harvard Kennedy School's Program on Intrastate Conflict and is president of the World Peace Foundation.

2010-07-02 10:08:12

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