South Sudan’s minister of water resources and irrigation has announced that his country will join the Entebbe Agreement.
“We joined the Nile Basin Initiative. We are on the way to join the framework agreement, through which Nile Basin countries could discuss the best ways for using water sources,” Paul Mayom, the minister, told a radio station.
South Sudan had previously rejected the water distribution agreement, originally signed between Egypt and Sudan in 1959.
The agreement granted both countries the lion’s shares of the Nile water. In April 2010, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania signed a new agreement in Entebbe redistributing the Nile’s water. Egypt, along with Sudan, boycotted the deal, saying it was non-binding
Burundi joined the Entebbe agreement in March 2011, paving the way for its approval.
Mayom said that his country doesn’t recognize the 1959 agreement. “We were under control of Sudan, when the agreement was signed. Thus, we couldn’t say anything.”
Egypt, which receives the largest portion of the Nile’s water, has rejected any deals that do not preserve its historic rights.
Egypt's share of Nile waters stand at 51 billion square meters annually, according to a deal signed with Sudan on 1959, which gives the latter 18 billion square meters of water per year.