Is Kiir allowing Egypt back again to dig the controversial Jonglei Canal as Nile talks fail with Ethiopia?

By FRED OLUOCH, THE EASTAFRICAN, APR/08/2018, SSN;

Egyptian politicians are said to be lobbying their government to negotiate with Pres. Kiir’s government in Juba to resume the digging of the controversial Jonglei Canal in South Sudan as an alternative plan as discussions on the use of the Nile waters aborted.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour on Friday announced suspension of the tripartite talks between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia without reaching a consensual solution regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Samir Faraj, former governor of Luxor region along River Nile is among those pushing for the revival of Jonglei Canal project, arguing that the canal would enable Egypt to get additional 4.7 billion cubic metres of water annually from the White Nile.

Since the start of the digging of the controversial Jonglei Canal in the late 1970’s, South Sudanese and environmentalists around the world wholly rejected the project because of its humongous negativity on the environment and the its deleterious impact on the lives of the riparian tribes along the Nile.

Then, at it’s announcement, students and citizens across South Sudan demonstrated against the digging of the Jonglei Canal and many heroic lives of students and citizens were needlessly lost during Abel Alier’s puppet government in Juba.

Egypt is embroiled in a dispute with Ethiopia over the Renaissance dam, which Cairo maintains is a threat to the flow of the 50 billion cubic metres of water the country receives annually from the Nile.

Cairo is worried that it will interfere with the flow of water to the Aswan High Dam, given that Blue Nile contributes 80 per cent of the waters to Egypt.

But Ethiopia remains adamant, saying that the $4.8 billion dam that is expected to generate electrical power of up to 6,000 MegaWatts, is for the benefit of its people.

This week, talks on the tripartite agreement on the utilisation of Nile waters and the impact of the GERD, resumed in Khartoum.

In Summary
***Egypt is embroiled in a dispute with Ethiopia over the Renaissance dam, which Cairo maintains is a threat to the flow of the 50 billion cubic metres of water the country receives annually from the Nile.
***Egyptian politicians are said to be lobbying the government to negotiate with Juba to resume the digging of the controversial Jonglei Canal.
***Those pushing for it say it would enable Egypt to get 4.7 billion cubic metres of water more annually from the White Nile

Fluid bilateral relations

The last time the issue of Jonglei Canal came up between South Sudan and Egypt was in 2008, when the then Sudan vice-president and now South Sudan President Salva Kiir visited Cairo and discussed the prospects of resuming work on the canal after Juba’s Independence.

The then Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Nazeef, told the media that the project was on the agenda of the Supreme Committee between the two countries.

Juba has not issued any statement on the issue as it remains emotive. But a diplomatic source in Juba told The EastAfrican that Cairo has dropped interest in the Jonglei Canal project due to the current political instability in South Sudan, and the fluid bilateral relations between Juba and Khartoum.

Egypt was the financier of the project, with loans from its development partners, and had hired the Bucket Wheel used for excavation from the French government.

Egypt wanted the additional water from Jonglei to help grow food for its burgeoning population. Since the mid-1970s, however, water has become the limiting factor for agricultural expansion in many parts of northern Sudan, since new irrigation projects need more water.

Ecosystem

Research had shown that the digging of Jonglei Canal would have serious repercussions on the delicate ecosystem of the Sudd region that include negative effects on the aquatic, wild, domestic plants and animals, and interference of the farming activities of the people in the region including displacement.

Other negative impact include reduction of rainfall as the region will dry up after the canal takes water to Egypt and Northern Sudan, because the Sudd moisture contributes to the formation of rain in the region.

Shuttle diplomacy:

Despite the environmental concerns, former director of water resources in Kenya, John Nyaoro, told The EastAfrican, Egypt would gain up to additional 10 billion cubic metres from the project.

“While the waters that leave Lake Victoria through the White Nile is 40 billion cubic metres, only 20 billion arrives in Khartoum where it meets the Blue Nile from Ethiopia. If the Jonglei channels are opened to allow quick flow water, it would solve the problem of stagnation which results into loses through evaporation,” said Mr Nyaoro.

But the GERD remains a big concern to Egypt and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been crisscrossing the Nile basin countries trying to lobby against the dam and amendments to the 2011 Nile Treaty that allowed greater use of the waters by riparian states.

Egypt considers damming and major irrigation projects by the riparian states on the Nile waters as a major threat to the flow of water it receives.

-Additional Reporting by Joseph Oduha

12 Comments

  1. Bullen M says:

    Dear Author ,

    It should not be allowed to happened , it has caused rebellion in 1983 and it can still cause rebellion in 2018 should it happened.

    • info@southsudannation says:

      Bullen M,
      Indeed, Egypt should never be allowed to restart the digging of Jonglei Canal. However, the serious problem is that president Kiir is now totally dependent on these racist and cheating Egyptians for his most of military and logistical support in his war to crash Riek Machar.
      Stupidly, Kiir is hopelessly buying the third class and used Egyptian guns, trucks and other fake and useless military/intelligence hard and softwares.
      Environmental experts have advised against the Jonglei Canal project. If built, first, water evaporation will be drastically reduced and this will translate into less rain in that region.
      Secondly, the jieng communities and those downstream like the Chollo and Nuer will have their natural and economic livelihoods greatly impacted negatively…no more fish and less grass for the cattle…etc…etc.
      Thirdly, the desert will eventually encroach into that area…and just imagine the terrible effects on the people.
      How we wish Dr. John Garang was still around!!!
      Editor

      • Mor-amook says:

        Dear Editor,

        It will not happen, if Kiir stupidly advise to accept the resumption of Jonglei canal that will be the end of his office term without election. Jonglei canal is no benefits to people of South Sudan, it’s beneficial to people of Egypt more than southerners. Because of this canal project that was why Egypt fought us seriously alongside Soudan government.

        I wish if our leaders both in government and opposition quickly breach gaps, come together for the interest of South Sudanese not individualistic interest so that vultures like such nations are blocked from using our virgin natural resources.

        I am more than 100% against it! If Egypt start it, I will again go back to bush but not to join idiot and tribal rebellion of Deng Hanbol.

        • info@southsudannation says:

          Mor-Amook,
          Exactly, the Jonglei Canal project is primarily for the economic benefit of Egypt with its ever burgeoning population. They badly need more water for more food production to feed their people.
          Pres. Kiir will be well advised not to grant the Egyptians that privilege at all. I personally witnessed our young boys and girls in the 70’s gallantly demonstrating in Juba during Alier-Niemery tyrannical regime. They shot, killed, beat and arrested those young heroes and heroines.
          That was an epic and historical moment in the history of South Sudan that can only be equated with the August 18th, 1955 Torit Revolution. It poignantly shows what we, South Sudanese, can achieve as a united people!!
          Let’s hope that president Kiir doesn’t betray us like Abel Alier then. History will never forgive him.
          Editor

        • Deng Hanbol says:

          Mor-amook,
          Which is the real stupid ethnic group in South Sudan? What’s irrational behind your illiterate president’s decisions?
          Atteny Wek’s disclosure about Kiir providing $5 million to criminal Paul Malong in order to assassinate Dr. Machar, but he failed in vain because of Equatorian soldiers and Nuer army.
          It is obvious that the notion of killing Machar is an endeavor by the JCE to dominate the whole country; however, Naath warriors who have both courage and skills in fighting and their compatriots from greater Equatoria managed to protect the people’s leader.
          The attempt to dominate all people of south Sudan by your Jaang ethnic group will cost you a lot.
          Mor-amook, truth must be told, Dinka’s views of dominate others don’t perpetually meet with the approval of other ethnic groups in our country; therefore, there is constant conflict between the 63 ethnic groups on one hand and the Dinka tribe on the other.
          Calling me an idiot for your nasty game is immature.

          • Nuer-Another Israel in East Africa says:

            Deng Hanbol,

            Don’t waste your precious time arguing with an irrational person. This guy is possessed by demon. His tunnel vision is a testimony that cannot be denied.

  2. Dear: Author Joseph Oduho

    The RECONSTRUCTION OF JONGLEI CANAL BY EGYPTIANS,it will never and ever take place totally in front of God! Believe me! President Salva Kirr Mayardit,will take care of! You must feel free! No worry at all! Our Natural Resources,are well protected and well saved! Let President Salva continue his foreign policy with Egypt as long as it gains him things in the country!

    Sincere Healing Fear!

    Abiko!

    KC,MO.USA

  3. Bismark says:

    When has Kiir put the interests of the nation above his? If he had, there would not have been blood bath in the fatherland. Kiir seems to be our major problem. The worry is his tribe-mates seem not to care. If only he could get a challenge from them Kiir would have taken right decisions for the country. He is dismantling South Sudan nation with all his activities and our old enemies are taking the advantage of his misdeeds. He must wake up before parts of South Sudan are icked up by our greedy neighbours.

  4. BILL KUCH says:

    It would not be accepted by all citizens. I know my people from Jonglei particularly will be more rebellious and I would be joining them as well. And more anti-government will be prevalent across South Sudan. Resuming of Jonglei Canal will never ameliorate our economy.

    • Mor-amook says:

      Dear uncle Deng Handbol,
      You are always advocating to eliminate Jieng even innocent Jieng in South Sudan, that is why I call you idiots. I have never read any of your comments differentiating Kiir from poor innocent Jieng in the village or cattle camp, who have never even seen Kiir one day. You need to understand that.

      Likewise, I know there are poor innocent Nuer youth like white army who were driven to unknown war by shortsighted tribal politicians like you and the rest. If we want south Sudan to be peaceful, rebel against government or criticize government regardless of where the president or minister come from. But, you keep saying Jieng to invite every Jieng to stage.

      Gen. Malong and the rest such as Nyandeng, Mabior, Majak…..etc are not Equatorians or Nuer but they have rebelled against the government. Politics is interest based not tribal, please understand it from today or else I will leave you to just bark like sick Moii

  5. Deng Hanbol says:

    Dear cousin Mor-amook,
    You’re wrong.You claimed that I am advocacy of eliminating Jaang people. Although Salva Kiir and Dinka generals have committed a mass slaughter of Nuer civilians in 2013 in Juba, my untiring effort and other south Sudanese national is to remove your tribal government from power by all means and replacing it with a new form of government. A system that would hand enhance social relations and economic strength. Therefore, I would emphasize that the JCE and Salva Kiir are the main target for the crimes they have committed and not the Dinka civilians as you already mentioned above.
    My cousin, as you well know that since 2013, violence and terror ared used against Nuer by Paul Malong and the JCE as Mechanism to maintain political, economy and military power. Dinka indeed, concerned about losing their power; however, Equatorians and Nuer ethnic groups wanted to see a power shift.
    In fact, the persisting power struggles between the JCE, on one side, and Naath, Equatorians, Chollo on the other side, is because the laters wanted to change the statue quote.
    Dear Mor-amook, currently the power structure in south Sudan is listed below:
    – Dinka influence consolidated
    – Nuer, Equatorians, Chollo, and the people of western Bahr Ghazal barred from public office
    – those who work in the government of Dinka are clients, namely Nuer Wew and patrons from the greater Equatoria plus in exchange for positions and services.
    There will be a permanent peace if you stop evil plans of domination of south Sudan or if Dinka relinquish power peacefully.
    As studied political Science, I had taken courses in both African politics and African History in 2016. My research papers were based on, Rwanda,Tanzania, Kenya as well as Somalia politics. For example, if you want to learn about Politics of Tanzania, specifically Julius Nyerere Legacy:
    – Nyerere brought great unity to the people of Tanzania, a merger between Tanganyika and the Islands of Zanziber
    – He provided good government and resources
    He also avoided post- independence problems ( inequality, political, elitism…. etc)

    Mr. Mor-amook,the simple question is, does the JCE produce good government ?
    No Idea if I’m your uncle. May be your older than me.

  6. Mor-amook says:

    Dear Deng Hanbol,

    Your tune seem to be changing for the first time. Although you are denying targeting Jieng, the continuous actions demonstrate targeting, for example, road killing, naming MTN, banned goods…etc. I cannot believe that you have any of jieng in your ranks and file. You cannot also allow innocent Jieng civilian in any of your areas. If I am mistaken, give examples of those who are with you. Even your clients such as Mabior Garang and the likes cannot attempt to go to Akobo. They are for you in Nairobi.

    Secondly, this week, some 400 rebels soldiers from Equatoria defected from SPLM IO to Thomas Cirillo. What does that mean? Johnson Uliny is leading his tribesmen in Shilluk land in the name of IO. Why not taking him to lead SPLM IO forces in Nuer land or Equatoria if you had rebelled for national course.To me, that indicates you have all failed and you do not have national agenda to transform the country as you claim. Transformation and nationalization starts wthin the camp and good strategy to attract the populace regardless of ethnicity. During the last Sudan’s civil war, every solider and commanders were places anywhere.

    The government in Juba is not jieng, it is national government whereby Jeing is a president, Nuer first vice and Equatoria the vice and same to ministers is mixed. Tell me which tribe is not represented in the government in Juba.
    Please understand that government are clique who understand themselves.

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