National, News

MP questions missing Nile Basin Agreement

By Philip Buda Ladu


A member of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) has urged for the return of a Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement that was presented to the parliament for ratification last year.

The Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) was submitted to the TNLA for further discussion by Ruben Madol Arol, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, in December 2023.

Following its presentation, house speaker Rt. Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba assigned the document to the Committees for Water Resources, Legislation and Justice, and Foreign Affairs for review, with a directive to report back to the house within 14 days.

However, the report has not been brought up for discussion in parliament since then.

Hon. Peter Lomude Francis, who represents Yei River County Constituency, Central Equatoria State, raised concerns about the whereabouts of the CFA.

He said that ratifying the Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement would enable South Sudan to assert its rights to the Nile waters.

“We have this Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement, which disappeared from the agenda. And under that Nile Basin, some of these issues are now being discussed, including the phasing out of fossil fuels and the use of clean energy,” Lomude said.

Mr. Lomude made his submission on one of the IPU 148th Assembly resolutions on partnership for climate action, promoting access to affordable green energy, and ensuring innovation, responsibility, and equity (Sustainable Development).

He emphasized the necessity of developing the Fula dam along the Nile River to eliminate the need for generators, which he highlighted as contributing to climate change issues.

“This Framework Agreement, if ratified by the parliament, would allow us to own our share of the Nile water,” he continued. “We will be able to develop some of our water resources, including the Fula so that we will have the clean energy that this (IPU 148th Assembly) report is talking about.”

The lawmaker stressed that operationalizing the Nile Basin Initiative will also help in addressing the issue of expensive electricity tariffs, especially the JEDCO power that people are talking about.

“So it is important that the government (the executive and this parliament) consider bringing back this cooperative framework agreement so that the country can move forward,” he reiterated.

Ahmed Mohamed Musa, the acting government chief whip at the parliament, interjected Mr. Lomude’s submission about the CFA bill by mentioning the whereabouts of the document that had gone missing for quite some time.

“What I want to clarify here is that the issue of the Nile Basin Initiative didn’t disappear because of something, but for further consultation, and then it will be reported back to our august house,” Musa stated.

The Nile Basin CFA Treaty’s primary goal is to establish a comprehensive framework that fosters integrated management, sustainable development, and harmonious utilization of the Nile Basin’s water resources.

It also aims to ensure the conservation and protection of these resources for the benefit of both present and future generations.

The framework agreement includes provisions for the resolution of disputes, especially those that may arise among member states.



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