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South Sudan to sign Nile water agreement

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Staff writer ▼ | June 21, 2013
South SudanSouth Sudan is set to sign an agreement that would replace an old law that gave most of the River Nile's waters to Egypt and Sudan. The Cooperative Framework Agreement of the Nile Basin countries is expected to be signed at the Nile Water Summit.

If signed, South Sudan will be the seventh riparian country to sign the agreement on sharing the Nile waters.

Six other countries have already signed the agreement: Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi. outh Sudan would benefit from the agreement by using the Nile River water to construct projects that will bring "prosperity and welfare to its citizens".

Paul Mayom Akec, South Sudan's Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, said that the signing of the agreement was "inevitable".

"The process of joining the agreement has started at all levels of the state apparatus in South Sudan," said Mr. Akec and added that South Sudan would implement the agreement as soon as parliament ratifies it.

His statement comes after Mohamed Bahaa al-Din, the Egyptian minister of water and irrigation, said that the agreement was not binding on Egypt, unless and until it became a signatory and Egypt will only sign the agreement once they were able to settle a few points of contention.

About 86 percent of Nile water flowing to Egypt originates from the Blue Nile out of Ethiopia, and Cairo has said the construction of the dam is a security concern. The 1929 Nile Water agreement gave Egypt 66 percent control over the general management and usage of the Nile waters.

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