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Cooperative Diplomacy, Regional Stability and National Interests

The Nile River and the Riparian States

Korwa G. Adar, Nicasius A. Check

Publication Year: 2011

The Nile River is the longest river in the world covering nearly 7,000 kilometres. It traverses ten countries in Africa, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, with South Sudan as the eleventh riparian state once it acquires its sovereignty. Of the more than 300 million inhabitants in the ten riparian states, the Nile River Basin is home to nearly 160 million people. The interlocking controversies surrounding the utilisation of the waters of the Nile River and the resources therein have centered on the 1929 Anglo-Egyptian and the 1959 Egypto-Sudanese treaties, which have largely ignored the interests of the upstream states. Through the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) established in 1999, the riparian states concluded, in 2010, the Agreement on the River Nile Basin Cooperative Framework (CFA) based on the principle of equitable and reasonable utilisation, the objective of which is to establish durable legal regime in the Nile River Basin. This book addresses the complexities inherent in the colonial and post-colonial treaties and agreements and their implications for the interests of the riparian states and the region in general. It is the first book of its kind that covers the ten riparian states in a single volume and deals comprehensively with politico-legal questions in the Nile River Basin as well as conventions on the international water courses and their relevance to the region.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. viii

The editors are greatly indebted to the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) for providing funds that enabled the participants to discuss their papers presented at the Conference on: “The Interface between National Interest and Regional Stability: The Nile River and the Riparian States”, Hilton...

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About the Editors

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pp. ix-x

Korwa Gombe Adar is Professor of International Relations, Department of International Relations, United States International University, Nairobi, Kenya. He received his BSc and MSc in political science at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana, US, followed by an MA and PhD in international...

About the Contributors

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pp. xi-xii

Abbreviations, Acronymsand Concepts

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pp. xiii-xvi

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Introduction: The Nile River Basin – An introductory context

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pp. xvii-xxxi

This book is the culmination of two events. Firstly, five articles focusing on the case studies of Egypt, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, as well as an article interpreting the 1929 treaty and its implication for the Nile River waters, were published in 2007 in the special edition of the...

PART 1. Treaties and Agreements of the Nile River Basin: Legal Questions and Case Studies

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1. The interpretation of the 1929 treaty and its legal relevance to and implications for the stability of the region

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pp. 3-22

The past few years have witnessed increasing interest in the management of the Nile River and the disputes surrounding its non-navigational uses. The same period has witnessed a number of initiatives designed to address components of the management of its resources. The increasing concern...

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2. The Democratic Republic of Congo and the Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement

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pp. 23-38

With a total area of 2 344 885 km² and a population of around 65 million, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is Africa’s third-largest country and one of its most densely populated nations. It gained its independence from Belgium on 30 June 1960. The DRC is bordered by nine other African countries...

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3. Cooperation between Egypt and Sudan over the Nile River waters: The challenges of duality

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pp. 39-66

The Nile, the longest river in the world, has shaped the mythological and political histories of the peoples of Egypt, Sudan and the entire African continent, especially the Nile Basin countries. Indeed, the Nile is the main source of life for Egyptians, Sudanese and the peoples of the Nile Basin to...

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4. Ethiopia’s position on the Nile water agreements

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pp. 67-83

By virtue of the three major tributaries of the Nile River systems, namely the Blue Nile, Atbara and Sobat, Ethiopia contributes 86 per cent of the total volume of water to the Nile, with the White Nile contributing the remaining 14 per cent. Ethiopia's contribution to the Nile flow, however, rises to...

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5. Rwanda and the Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement: Assessing the 1929 Nile treaty

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pp. 85-103

At the end of the last Ice Age, which was accompanied by massive global climate change, vast expanses of land stretching from North Africa to the Middle East became immense desserts and wastelands. The melting ice formed large rivers flowing between valleys, and the most prominent of these...

PART 2. National and Regional Interests in the Nile River Basin: Country Case Studies

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6. Burundi’s national interests and the Nile Basin Initiative

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pp. 107-129

Le gros du travail pour le Burundi réside dans la consolidation des acquis consignés dans la vision commune et le plan d’action subsidiaire. Mais à la limite cela suppose un état global de cohérence mutuelle entre les politiques...

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7. The Nile River and Egyptian foreign-policy interests

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pp. 131-152

The Nile River is Egypt’s principal artery of life. It is life itself for Egypt. This basic fact does not apply to the same extent to the other riparian states. Therefore, one of the major strategic threats to Egyptian national security is the threat to vital water sources lying beyond the Egyptian borders. The...

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8. The Nile ‘Lone Ranger’ in the Nile River waters initiative: The case of Eritrea

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pp. 153-166

The Nile River is unique and faces the most enormous challenges of all international river basins. This is because – besides its remoteness and the disproportionate levels of development within the basin – there is an almost total absence of any meaningful cooperation or comprehensive agreement...

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9. Kenya’s foreign-policy and geopolitical interests: The case of the Nile River Basin

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pp. 167-188

With only 647 cubic metres of water per capita, Kenya faces a major challenge in terms of water resources. As one of the riparian states, the use of the Nile water by the neighbouring countries has direct implications for Kenya’s national interest. The evolution of Kenya's official water policy...

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10. Tanzania: Multilateralism and national interests in the Nile River Basin question

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pp. 189-214

Tanzania is one of the countries that form part of the Nile River Basin. Tanzania contributes less than 3 per cent of the total volume of the Nile water, while more than 10 per cent of Tanzania’s population depend on the resources of the Nile for their livelihood. This has put pressure on the government to pursue...

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11. National and regional foreign policy underpinnings: Uganda and the Nile River Basin controversy

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pp. 215-234

Uganda is one of the 10 countries that border the 6 700 kilometre-long Nile River, the longest river in the world. The others are Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Rwanda. Since the 1980s, Uganda has been involved in numerous...

Part 3. Conclusion

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12. Conclusion: Setting the Agenda for the Nile River Waters Agreement

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pp. 237-247

The debate about water sharing within the Nile Basin has been centred on Egypt’s need for a sustained and reliable supply of water, without recourse to the water needs of the upper riparian states. The 1929 and 1959 agreements clearly attest to this. The legal regime of these agreements and their...

Appendix 1

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pp. 248-249

Appendix 2

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pp. 250

E-ISBN-13: 9780798302982
Print-ISBN-13: 9780798302876

Page Count: 284
Publication Year: 2011