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A River Runs Through an African Rivalry

Jan 3, 2017 | 12:10 GMT
A River Runs Through an African Rivalry
The dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is only the most recent expression of a longstanding conflict over the Nile.
(ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER/AFP/Getty Images)

Treaties lie at the center of controversy between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Nile River, primarily because most of these agreements never included Ethiopia as a signatory. The treaties were tools British colonial officials used in the 19th and 20th centuries to manage relations between their Egyptian and Sudanese holdings. Ethiopia, which was not a colony, at times negotiated with the British government but never had the same say in regulating the use of the Nile. Understandably, Addis Ababa has often rejected the legal framework established in this period for managing the river. One of Ethiopia's main concerns is the fact that it, as an upstream country, is not protected in the same way as downstream countries such as Egypt....

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