Hearing the mealymouthed hypocrisy-cum-lie propounded by Egyptian authorities, one feels nauseous. There is this standoff regarding who should and who should not use the waters of Nile.
Egyptians and Sudanese want colonial agreement over the use of Nile water to apply as it deprives upstream countries the right to the water! This infamous treaty denies upstream countries the right of using Nile water as pleased.
Recently, Egypt and Sudan boycotted signing Nile basin treaty. They want a lion share in the whole business of Nile! Do they know where Nile originates? Isn’t this mere provocation-cum-suttee in the first place? If common sense is used, the duo is but losers. Why should they want water to feed their people as others starve theirs? No life is better than another. Upstream countries, so too, use the same to feed their people. Who are they so as to demand lion share of Nile, as they refuse others to use their own water? Is it Arab mentality of better than thou or arrogance and slave mind? Go figure!
Suprise suprise! These guys still think they can convince the whole world to support their bulimia! You know what? The duo is basing their claims in a colonial pact entered between Egypt and British colonial regime at the high noon of colonialism. This stinking agreement stipulates that Egypt should have an upper hand with regards to the matters of Nile without owning the source of the same! This is the cudgel they want to use to bludgeon others. The duo would want to see Article 14 (b) of the proposed Co-operative Framework Agreement (CFA), which relates to historical water rights and uses apply! What hogwash!
“Egypt’s historic rights to Nile waters are a matter of life and death. We will not compromise them,” Moufid Shehab, Minister of Legal and Assembly Affairs, told parliament after the talks. This is provocative and laughable. Why don’t Egyptian authorities want to accept the fact that the British colonial regime entered this agreement to fool Egypt? How can a thief enter into any agreement with any party knowing what they are agreeing upon is a stolen item? Who is a fool in this illegal transaction? Supposed Nubian lay claim on owning and occupying Egypt just because history has it that Egypt and her civilization are theirs. What Shehab called historic rights are nothing but colonial lies.
The 1929 deal, brokered on one side by British colonial powers in Africa, gives Egypt 55.5 billion cubic metres a year, the biggest share of a flow of some 84 billion cubic metres. This stupid stipulation did not put in consideration that Ethiopia produces more than 80% of the water Egypt is hollering about! “We will not sign on to any agreement that does not clearly state and acknowledge our historical rights,” Egyptian Water Minister Mohamed Nasreddin Allam said after the meeting. Is this historic right or historic lie? This is hogwash. It is the same mentality of colonial parasites that still claim that white men discovered Mount Kilimanjaro.
“Practically, even if those countries sign a framework agreement without Egypt, its effects won’t be lasting …how are (upstream countries) going to stop the flow of water?” Safwat Abdel-Dayem, Secretary General of the Arab Water Council was recently quoted as saying. Again, is this Arab frozen and backward-thinking mentality? The issue is not to stop water or vengeance but making use of it. This reminds me of the laughable steps taken by Dubai when its royals were mistakenly expelled from Kenya. Instead of facing it, they imposed requirement for Kenyan to possess a university degree in order to enter Dubai.
However Egypt threatened to use military force to take on whosoever claims this right. Rule military confrontations out! Where will Egypt get the muscles to take on such comparably self sufficient countries? Egypt is not that mighty a bully and able to take on seven countries. It is not even that kamikaze and unreasonable. After all, time for war is long gone. If it tries, one can just attack one ship or two that bring poor and dirty wheat to feed Egyptians and the game will be over. Moreover thanks to dictatorship and nepotism, Egypt is divided and weak.
Importantly, Egypt should stop its self deception. Instead, it has to mend fences it has forgotten for long. The point is it should think of diplomacy. For long, Cairo has taken Nile water as a natural right whilst it is but shared by others. I have nary seen Egyptian president visiting any upstream country to talk about its life! Instead, it has invested heavily in the Middle East. Thanks to its Arab mentality, it has always been busy chasing deals with the West and Middle East as it ignored these strategic partners.
I recently saw some stupid and racist Egypt sheiks on youtube. They were saying that, despite African ladies being black, except their teeth and eyes, the only things that can attract Arab men, they must marry in upstream countries in order to spy them. This way they’ll fix the problem!
They too add another false claim. They allege that Israel is behind all this misunderstanding regarding Nile waters! Egyptian authorities are trying to create an enemy in order to get away with it. They don’t want to face reality that their lazy government is the problem in lieu of upstream countries. The authorities know the shortage of arable land they have. They still don’t encourage citizens to embark on family planning and population balancing!
If there is a real enemy facing Egypt, it is nothing but its big population. This plus corruption and bad governance make it harder for Egypt to make it through this crisis without looking into the eyes of a true enemy in lieu of the far-fetched one. Refer to food riots that caused death in 2008. Can the country that can not feed itself take on seven countries and succeed really? War will nary be a solution but wastage of resources and time.
By the way, can Egypt bespeak such of Thames waters? This is as impossible as it is to embark on military solutions as far as the use of waters of river Nile is concerned.
Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a regular contributor to AfroSpear.