Thursday, 27 May 2010
Egypt claims on Nile rejected
Ethiopia's prime minister has rejected a threat by Egypt to prevent the building of dams and other water projects upstream on the Nile river.
Meles Zenawi said on Wednesday that Egypt will not be able to stop his country from building dams on the river.
His comments came nearly a week after Ethiopia joined Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya in signing a new treaty on the equitable sharing of the Nile, despite strong opposition from Egypt and Sudan who have the major share of the river waters.
The Nile flows through 10 African nations, but the distribution of its waters among each Nile basin country has long been a source of tension in the region.
Historic agreements have given Egypt and Sudan veto power over upstream projects that could affect the flow of water.
But the agreement signed last week by four of the Nile Basin countries marked the creation of a new commission to manage the water.
Kenya, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo are expected to sign within a year.
Egypt has warned that the agreement lacks legitimacy.
But Zenawi told Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons that Egypt's approach is out of date.
The Nile River Basin
The source of the Nile, the longest river in the world, is Lake Victoria.