Juba rebuffs Cairo on Nile waters agreements By MACHEL AMOS in Juba | Wednesday, March 20  2013 at  14:30

On the banks of River Nile in South Sudan. FILE | NATION EMDIA GROUP 

South Sudan has expressed its opposition to a 1959 Nile Water agreements between Sudan and Egypt.

The country said it was already on its way to join the Cooperative Framework agreement, which Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania signed in 2010, and later Burundi in 2011.

"South Sudan does not recognise - and underline does not recognise – the content of the 1959 agreement,” said Water and Irrigation minister Paul Mayom Akech.

“Having been under Sudan at the time, we could not say anything, today we say, we have nothing to do with this agreement,” the minister said.

Riparian countries that signed the Cooperative Framework agreement are discontent with the 1959 deal that gives Sudan and Egypt a larger share of the Nile waters.

“We have joined the NBI (Nile Basin Initiative) and are already a long way to joining the Cooperative Framework agreement, being an entity within which all the Nile Basin countries come together and discuss how best they could utilise the water resource,” Mr Mayom said.

He told a local radio station that; “Egypt, Sudan and the DR Congo have refused to ratify the agreement for reasons that it contravenes the 1959 agreement".

Egypt dispatched a high profile delegation led by Prime Minister Hisham Qandil to South Sudan last week to, among others, seek support for its position against the Cooperative Framework agreement.

Mr Qandil signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Vice-President Riek Machar on education, health, agriculture and investment. There was none on Nile waters.

Mr Mayom said Juba was planning the launch of a draft document for technical cooperation with Egypt.