Pressure builds over Egypt-Ethiopia dam dispute

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A handout picture released by the Egyptian presidency shows Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi speaking during a conference on protecting the country's water crisis and Ethiopia's dam project on the Blue Nile in Cairo on 10 June 2013. (Photo: AFP - HO / Egyptian Presidency)

Published Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi is facing heavy pressure to secure a negotiated settlement to a bitter dispute with Ethiopia over the sharing of Nile waters, after warning that “all options are open” in confronting the project.

There has been tough rhetoric from Mursi and other Egyptian officials in recent weeks about Ethiopia's diversion of a section of the Blue Nile for a dam project.

"If a single drop of the Nile is lost, our blood will be the alternative," Mursi said in a speech on Monday.

A government official told AFP Egypt would negotiate a solution to the intensifying dispute.

"We are in the midst of negotiations," said the official, on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.

Mursi's stern tone, he added, was meant to emphasize "that there is a commitment to our rights,” adding that "for us it is a matter of life or death."

An Egyptian government report concluded the proposed dam on the Blue Nile could affect the supply of water for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation.

In one of his first steps, Mursi had convened a meeting with party leaders, including those from the opposition, calling for a national front to tackle the dam.

The meeting, aired live on television, backfired as the politicians, apparently unaware they were on air, proposed supporting Ethiopian rebels or sending agents to sabotage the dam.

But some opposition leaders have rallied around the president's call for unity, saying the dam's threat requires a national front.

"It is not a matter of blame now," said Amr Mussa, who lost to Mursi in a presidential election last June, adding that “the solution must stem from an understanding between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.”

Mursi had come to power pledging a new chapter in relations with Nile Basin countries, which felt alienated by Mubarak's opposition to upstream projects.

Egypt says its "historic rights" to the Nile are guaranteed by two treaties from 1929 and 1959 which allow it 87 percent of the Nile's flow and give it veto power over upstream projects.

But a new deal was signed in 2010 by other Nile Basin countries, including Ethiopia, allowing them to work on river projects without Cairo's prior agreement.

Ethiopia has already begun diverting the Blue Nile some 500 meters from its natural course to construct the dam.

The Blue Nile joins the White Nile in the Sudanese capital Khartoum to form the Nile, which then flows through Egypt.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)


Some Bible prophecies about the drying of the Nile and the Doom of Egypt

Isaiah 191 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.2 And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.
3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.

4 And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts.

5 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.

6 And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither.

According to Isaiah,

1. There will be massive civil war in Egypt.

2. The river will be diverted and no water shall reach Egypt.

Ezekiel 304 And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down.5 Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.
12 And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers: I the LORD have spoken it.

According to ezekiel, not only will the river dry up, the survivors of the drought will be ruled by a cruel occupier from another land.

Zechariah 1010 I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.11 And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.
The Egyptians will be exiled and won’t find a refuge and the Nile will dry up.

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