Egypt Needs South Sudan: South Sudan Does Not Need Egypt
ATEM GAI DE DUT-Chief Editor-The video of Kuot Akok was shocking to many who are unfamiliar with the morbid behaviours of Egyptian society. But young Kuot’s experience was no exception, it is the tip of the iceberg of what can only be described as the general morbidity within Egyptian society as a whole, that is a plague to nations bordering the country either linguistically or geographically.
The humiliation, rape, kidnappings, and murders of South Sudanese in Egypt have been going on for years but Egyptian authorities and society have largely managed to sustain this unchecked oppression by capitalizing on the weaknesses of various Sudanese governments and especially recently, of the government in Juba. This paper (Rent-Seeking Diplomacy, available of NCMP on 8th May 2021) seeks to analyze the human rights violations and hypocritical diplomacy of the Egyptian government. First, there is a need to create a solid foundation by assessing Egypt and her neighbors’ geopolitical relationships.
Implications of the Riparian ‘Brotherhood’
The riparian brotherhood refers to the countries bounded by the shared natural endowment, the Nile River. Being one of the longest rivers in the world, the Nile covers about 3.1 million square kilometers, making up about 10% of the entire African continent. The river is divided into two: the Blue and the White Nile. While the Blue Nile originates
from Lake Tana in Ethiopia, the White Nile originates from Rwanda’s Kagera River. The Blue and the White Niles meet in Khartoum, Sudan, and proceed to Egypt. There are 11 nations that make up the riparian countries: Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, South Sudan, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania.
Though the Nile River provides some succor to these riparian nations through water resources, the region still hosts some of the world’s poorest nations with its attendant drought, food shortages, desertification, flooding, and ironically, water scarcity.
As a direct result of civil wars resulting from government neglect, new countries have emerged in an attempt to govern themselves independent of parent countries: a case in point being South Sudan and Eritrea. These dynamics have a direct impact on the conflict over the Nile waters as Egypt and other countries try to strategize for unlimited
usage. To promote a common interest, regional economic integration, and good neighborliness, the riparian countries have engaged in several initiatives and cooperations named after Pre-Nile Basin Initiative and the Nile Basin Initiative.
The pre-Nile Basin Initiatives include the Hydromet (hydrometeorological survey of the Equatorial Lakes, 1967), the Undugu group (a Swahili Brotherhood in 1983), the Technical Cooperation Commission for the Promotion and Development of the Nile (TECCONILE, 1993). The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) was established in February 1999, and it centers around equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile waters without causing significant harm among the riparian countries.
To some extent, and before the self-problem set in, these initiatives addressed the stated goals. By virtue of the common bond, each country in the riparian brotherhood was expected to protect the interest of member nations. When civil wars and other crises broke out in some countries, especially in Sudan, leading to the breakaway of South Sudan, other countries were ready asylums and refuge places for displaced persons. Other countries in the riparian, mostly Egypt, were seen as ‘’saviors.”