- Wed, 09/05/2012 - 22:40
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According to Wikileaks, Egyptian authorities received agreement from Sudan to build an airbase in Sudan, to launch attacks on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam reports All Africa
Wikileaks has leaked files allegedly from the Texas-based global intelligence company, Stratfor, which quote an anonymous "high-level Egyptian source," claiming the Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon said in 2010 his nation would do anything to prevent the secession of South Sudan because of the political implications it will have for Egypt's access to the Nile.
Ethiopia's planned massive hydroelectric damming project has sent shockwaves throughout the region, highlighting the faults in previously-signed treaties on Nile-sharing.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which the late Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi laid the cornerstone in March of 2011, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric facility and will be built 40km upstream from Sudan on the Blue Nile.
Ethiopia has denied Egypt's requests to inspect the dam, unless it relinquishes its veto on water allocation. Although, according the source, Ethiopia has agreed not to use the reservoir waters for irrigation, there are concerns about the extent of water loss due to evaporation from the dam's reservoir.
According to Wikileaks, a 2010 internal email records Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir's agreement to host an Egyptian airbase in Kursi in the west of Sudan's Darfur region. This base would be used to launch an Egyptian assault on the Ethiopian dam, if diplomatic efforts fail.
The anonymous source cites the "useful case-study" of Egypt's 1976 sabotage of an Ethiopia damming project.
However, the viability of joint Sudanese-Egyptian military operations have been brought into question in light of their fractious relationship.
According to Wikileaks, the Stratfor source claimed that "if it comes to a crisis, we will send a jet to bomb the dam and come back in one day, simple as that. Or we can send our special forces in to block/sabotage the dam."
Although they agree upon the Nile Basin Treaty, the contested Halayed Triangle, in 2010, to Bashir accusing Egypt of occupying Sudanese territory.
The immediacy and extent of the Ethiopian threat to Egyptian freshwater access is questionable but its domestic political usefulness for the now ousted Mubarak regime is not.
The continued political application of the Ethiopian threat is, allegedly, now being exerted on the incumbent government by the Muslim Brotherhood.
On 26 August Egypt denied allegations that the new government is under pressure to persuade key regional investor, China, to not back such Nile development programmes.