Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Nile Treaty: yesterday's meeting & Egypt's water minister

Remember that comment by Egyptian water minister Mahmud Abu Zeid ... characterizing Kenya's threat to pull out of the Nile Basin Treaty as an "act of war". Well, a couple days ago, I heard somebody from the Nile Basin Initiative interviewed on the BBC World Service. I tuned in late but I think the guy being interviewed was Meraji Msuya, executive director of the NBI. Msuya or whoever it was told the interviewer that he had spoken to Abu Zeid soon after those comments were published and that Abu Zeid denied ever making such a statement.

Kenya has distanced itself from its orginial statement ... it has not pulled out of the treaty.

Yesterday's meeting of riparian states in Entebbe, Uganda, appears to have been a meeting of technical experts. A ministerial level meeting is scheduled for Kenya sometime this month.

Though the coverage of the meeting has been meagre, there are still details to be gleaned.
Egypt's attempt to reclaim parts of its southern desert in the Toshka valley, which will mean exceeding its water quotas, has hardened positions in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
Last post on the issue ... here.