KAMPALA: A 40-member Egyptian delegation held talks with Uganda’s president on a new treaty signed by upstream countries for the equitable sharing of the Nile waters, an official said Thursday.
President Yoweri Museveni told the Egyptians that all Nile states should equally benefit from the waters over which Egypt and Sudan have long retained 90 percent control by virtue of a colonial-era treaty.
The visit came after Burundi last month signed a new deal reached by other upstream countries, paving the way for its ratification to strip Egypt’s and Sudan’s massive rights to the Nile.
"They met the president and they discussed the sharing of the Nile water," said Tamale Mirundi, Museveni’s spokesman. "Our president was categorical, he said it must be a win-win situation for all (countries)."
Burundi joined Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya in agreeing to the deal, which is to be ratified by the countries’ parliaments.
The countries want to implement irrigation and hydropower projects without first seeking Egypt’s approval.
For decades, Egypt held veto rights over all upstream projects, following powers granted by a 1929 colonial-era treaty with Britain.
Egypt’s subsequent 1959 deal with Sudan gave the two downstream countries more than 90 percent control of Nile waters.