President Yoweri Museveni yesterday spoke on the contentious issue of the tension between Ethiopia and Egypt over the construction of a mega hydroelectricity dam warning the North African nation to desist from engaging in actions that could hurt black Africa.
“No African wants to hurt Egypt; however, Egypt cannot continue to hurt black Africa and the countries of the tropics of Africa.” President Museveni warned.
The President made these remarks while delivering his budget speech at parliament yesterday.
He advised the new administration in Cairo not to repeat mistakes of their predecessors in order to develop the nile.
“It is, therefore, advisable that the new Government of Egypt and some chauvinistic groups inside Egypt should not repeat the mistakes of the past Egyptian Governments. The biggest threat to the Nile is continued under-development in the tropics i.e. lack of electricity and lack of industrialization.” He said.
As the President made these remarks yesterday, Ethiopia’s parliament ratified a treaty intended to replace colonial-era agreements that gave Egypt and Sudan the biggest share of the Nile’s water.
The Ethiopian parliament unanimously endorsed the new Nile River Co-operative Framework Agreement, an accord already signed by five other Nile-basin countries – Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi.
The move comes amid growing tensions with Egypt over Ethiopia’s plans for a hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile.
What waits to be seen is how Egypt that is now under Muhammad Morsi will respond to President Museveni’s remarks. However the Egyptian President Morsi said on Monday he did not want war but would not allow Egypt’s water supply to be endangered saying he was keeping “all options open”.
The accord is the product of long negotiations to replace the 1929 treaty written by Britain that awarded Egypt veto power over any project involving the Nile by upstream countries.
Sudan and Egypt also signed a deal in 1959 dividing the Nile’s waters between them.