Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia fail to agree on Nile dispute

Egypt is concerned that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will drastically impact its own share of water from the Nile. (Reuters)
Updated 06 April 2018

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia fail to agree on Nile dispute

  • Ethiopia, like Egypt, has said that the dam issue is a “matter of life or death.”
  • Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said that 15 hours of talks in Khartoum ended with no deal.

CAIRO: The foreign ministers of Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia have failed to reach an agreement in the lingering dispute over Ethiopia’s massive dam on the Blue Nile, ministers said on Friday.
Egypt is concerned that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will drastically impact its own share of water from the Nile, on which the entire population relies. Ethiopia, like Egypt, has said that the dam issue is a “matter of life or death.”
Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said on Friday that 15 hours of talks in Khartoum have ended with no deal. The three countries’ intelligence chiefs and irrigation ministers also attended the talks.
Ghandour said that, nevertheless, “the meetings were constructive and important,” but that the three sides failed to “end up with satisfying answers.”
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri confirmed the remarks in a report published by the daily Al-Shorouk, adding that there will be another round of talks within 30 days.
Egypt fears Ethiopia’s $4.8 billion dam could reduce its Nile water share. Ethiopia has said it needs the dam for its development and is seeking to assure Cairo that it will not significantly harm it. The sticking point appears to be how quickly the reservoir behind the dam will be filled and if that will impact Egypt’s water share.
The Renaissance Dam is now 63 percent finished and Ethiopia hopes to become a key energy hub in Africa upon its completion.
Egypt has traditionally received the lion’s share of the Nile’s waters under agreements seen by other Nile basin nations as unfair. Former Egyptian presidents have warned that any attempt to build dams along the Nile will be met with military action.
Sudan appears to be taking Ethiopia’s side in the dam negotiations and has revived a longstanding border dispute with Egypt.


Italy’s Lombardy region to impose virus curfew

Updated 11 min 35 sec ago

Italy’s Lombardy region to impose virus curfew

  • The curfew from 11pm to 5am is expected to begin on Thursday night and last to November 13
  • More than 10,000 new Covid-19 infections were recorded in Italy on Friday for the time ever

ROME: Italy’s northern Lombardy region prepared Tuesday to impose a nighttime curfew, the most restrictive anti-coronavirus measure the country has seen since emerging from a national lockdown in the spring.
The curfew from 11pm (2100GMT) to 5am is expected to begin on Thursday night and last to November 13.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza gave his consent late Monday to the more restrictive measure proposed by the regional government, after an hours-long meeting.
“It’s an appropriate and symbolically important initiative that shouldn’t have particularly serious economic consequences,” Regional President Attilio Fontana said in the newspaper La Repubblica on Tuesday.
More than 10,000 new Covid-19 infections were recorded in Italy on Friday for the time ever, with Lombardy the hardest hit region, as it was in the beginning of the health crisis in February.
The region, which includes Italy’s financial hub of Milan, reported 1,687 new cases on Monday, with Italy’s southern Campania region coming a close second with 1,593.
Since Italy became the first hard-hit European country earlier this year, more than 36,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the country.
On Saturday, Lombardy ordered its bars to shut at midnight and prohibited the consumption of food and drink in public outside areas.
Italy has put in place recent restrictions to try to stem the new wave of infections, but none have so far imposed a curfew.
They include banning amateur contact sports, such as football matches, school trips, and restricting bars and restaurants to table service after 6pm.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said he does not envision another country-wide lockdown, which would further sap Italy’s struggling economy, but has said that he would not rule out limited ones.
Lombardy’s curfew is expected to only allow people to leave their home for reasons of health, work or necessity.
The new decree will also call for large shopping centers to be shut on weekends, according to Italian media reports.