Egypt braces for expected secession of southern Sudan

Egypt is considering all possible scenarios post the upcoming referendum on a potential secession of southern Sudan scheduled for early January, said an Egyptian diplomat on Wednesday.

In a speech before the Egyptian parliament, ambassador Mohamed Morsy, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative, said Egypt was most concerned about matters concerning its national security.
Morsy said Egypt is eager to maintain good relations with the south in the event of a separation, although it supports a unified Sudan. He went on to say that many problems could appear after a separation, in particular the problem of Abyei.

Egypt fears that a secession will affect its share in the Nile waters, which amount to an annual 51 billion cubic meters of water, considered by Egypt to be a matter of national security.

Under a 1959 Nile Water Agreement with Sudan, Egypt receives the lion's share of Nile waters. Sudan, the next largest recipient, claims 18 billion cubic meters.
Egypt says all Nile basin countries must approve any initiatives involving the Nile so as not to affect their respective shares, according to the 1929 and 1959 agreements.

East African countries, in particular Uganda and Kenya, have repeatedly called for termination of the 1929 agreement on the grounds that it does not take into account the needs of Nile source countries.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.


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