News / Africa

Ethiopia Ratifies Nile Treaty in Snub to Egypt

A traditional felucca boat carries a cargo of hay as it transits the Nile river, passing the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt, January 2013.A traditional felucca boat carries a cargo of hay as it transits the Nile river, passing the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt, January 2013.
x
A traditional felucca boat carries a cargo of hay as it transits the Nile river, passing the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt, January 2013.
A traditional felucca boat carries a cargo of hay as it transits the Nile river, passing the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt, January 2013.
Reuters
— Ethiopia's parliament unanimously ratified on Thursday a treaty that strips Egypt of its right to the lion's share of the Nile river waters, raising the political temperature in a dispute between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the construction of a dam.

The parliament's move follows days of irate exchanges between two of Africa's most populous nations over Ethiopia's new hydroelectric plant, which Egypt fears will reduce a water supply that is vital for its 84 million people.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said Monday he did not want “war” but would keep “all options open.” That prompted Ethiopia to say it was ready to defend its $4.7-billion Great Renaissance Dam near the border with Sudan.

Six Nile basin countries including Ethiopia have signed a deal effectively stripping Cairo of its veto, which is based in colonial-era treaties, over dam projects on the Nile, which is the source of nearly all Egypt's water.

Ethiopia's late leader Meles Zenawi had delayed parliamentary ratification until Egypt elected a new government.

“Most of the upstream countries have approved it through their parliaments. We delayed it as a gesture of goodwill to the people of Egypt until a formal elected government was in place,” said Ethiopian government spokesman Bereket Simon.

“We have a principled stance on the construction of dams. We are determined to see our projects brought to completion,” said Simon.

Another government spokesman, Shimeles Kemal, said Ethiopia's 547-seat legislature had voted to “incorporate the treaty into domestic law.”

Diplomacy efforts

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr is expected to travel to Addis Ababa on Sunday for talks about the dam, though Ethiopia's foreign ministry has said there can be no question of suspending construction.

An Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman has said the talks with Egypt are “in the spirit of Ethiopian interests.”

The African Union has urged both sides to hold talks to resolve the row.

Under a 1929 pact, Egypt is entitled to 55.5 billion cubic meters a year of the Nile's flow of around 84 billion cubic meters.

Along with other upstream neighbors such as Kenya and Sudan, however, Ethiopia argues that this pact is outdated. Ethiopia also has dismissed the talk of military action as “psychological warfare.”

Officials in Addis Ababa say technical analysis compiled by experts from Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt provides assurances to downstream nations that the dam being built by an Italian firm will not have a negative impact on the river's water levels.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid