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Burundi calls for protection of Nile River

afrol News, 23 February - Burundian Vice president has urged countries surrounding the world's longest river, the Nile River to conserve water for future generations.

Mr Sahinguvu said that the water resources of the River Nile constitute richness to a big population living along the river, saying the valuable resource has to be spared for future generations despite adverse climatic conditions.

The vice president's appeal comes amid disagreement on Nile River security that have split the Nile basin member countries after they failed to agree on the Cooperative Framework Agreement which seeks to establish a permanent River Nile Basin Commission that would manage the Basin.

Local reports said Egypt and Sudan that depend almost entirely on the Nile river water for agricultural production have been very reluctant to sign the agreement.

Dr Sahinguvu said delay in the signing of the agreement could lead to poor management of the basin, calling on countries to conclude negotiations on the Cooperative Framework which started ten years ago.

"We should give a legal base to our cooperation to engage all together and take up challenges which are drawn up in front of us for the development of our people," the Vice President said.

The new treaty has sparked heated debate on article 4, which is on equitable and reasonable use of the Nile waters, Article 5 on prevention of harm to the waters and Article 6 which deals directly with the protection and conservation of the basin and its ecosystem, and Article 8, which requires prior informed consent before using the waters.

Egypt and Sudan have been pushing for the reinforcement of the old treaty that only favours them on the use of the Nile River but the other countries have also maintained their position.

To date, seven out of nine Nile Basin countries have adopted the new agreement which Egypt and Sudan refused to adopt. The states are Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, DRC, Ethiopia and Burundi.

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