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Parliament ratifies Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework

By No. 1 Citizen

 

Parliament on July 8, 2024, unanimously ratified the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) of the Nile River Basin.

This long-awaited agreement aims to establish a cooperative framework for the management and development of the Nile River Basin’s water resources.

The ratification was warmly welcomed by the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), a civil society group that has been actively lobbying for South Sudan’s participation in the CFA.

Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of CEPO, expressed the organization’s pride in the parliament’s decision, stating that it was an impressive response to their advocacy efforts with some parliamentarians.

Yakani noted that the CFA had been pending before the South Sudanese parliament for 11 years, delayed by “strategic blockage from the elements that do not want the South Sudan government to take responsibility associated with matters of the Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework.” He emphasized that South Sudan is an “essential player” in water governance, economic, and security matters for the Nile River Basin’s progressive growth and development, and the delay in ratifying the CFA was a “strategic mistake” by the government.

With the ratification, South Sudan now has a legal obligation to have a say in the implementation of the Agreement on the Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework.

The next step, according to Yakani, is for the parliament to ensure that the resolution on the ratification of the CFA is urgently adopted and deposited with the African Union, paving the way for South Sudan’s formal membership in the CFA.

Yakani stressed that the relevant government institutions must take a proactive role in ensuring the timely execution of the next steps following the ratification.

He noted that South Sudan’s sustainable development objectives are strongly linked to the country’s commitment to the CFA.

CEPO has pledged to be proactively engaged in matters associated with Article 14(b) of the CFA, which addresses the unresolved issue of water security for all Nile Basin states.

The organization will also advocate for the establishment of a civil society platform to facilitate the implementation of the CFA, with South Sudan as the host.

 

 

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