Leaders from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed a cooperation deal on Monday over a giant Ethiopian hydroelectric dam on a tributary of the river Nile, in a bid to ease tensions over regional water supplies.
The leaders said the “declaration of principles” would pave the way for further diplomatic cooperation on the Grand Renaissance Dam, which has stirred fears of a regional resource conflict. No details of the agreement were immediately released.
Ethiopia, the source of the Blue Nile which joins the White Nile in Khartoum and runs on to Egypt, says the dam will not disrupt the river’s flow and hopes the project will transform it into a power hub for the electricity-hungry region.
The leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed the agreement in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. Egypt has opposed the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, saying it would worsen its water shortages.
Egypt, which relies almost exclusively on the Nile for farming, industry and drinking water, has sought assurances that the dam will not significantly cut the river’s flow to its rapidly growing population.
Ethiopia says the dam will give it a fairer share of Nile waters.
In 2013, Ethiopia’s parliament ratified a controversial treaty to replace colonial-era agreements that gave Egypt and Sudan the biggest share of the Nile’s water.
Egypt’s then-President Mohamed Morsi said he did not want war but he would not allow Egypt’s water supply to be endangered by the dam.
Mr Morsi’s successor, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi signed the deal with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Halemariam Desalegn and Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir.
Back in 2009, BBC reported that the permits to build the dam were put through hurriedly, and without doing feasibility studies, the article states:
“So urgent was the need to get the dam built quickly that the government short-circuited the usual internationally accepted procedures for these kinds of massive infrastructure projects. … The corporation also short-circuited the environmental and social impact assessment (EIA) process. Instead the study – which gave the project a clean bill of health – was published two years after construction began.” Read more here.
The Importance of the Nile River
- The Nile River is one of the most important resources in the history of Egypt. Without the river, Egypt would not be able to have human habitation, it is the Oasis in the expansive and vast desert region. Since 5000 BC,it has provided fresh water, seafood, fish, and a means to water farms. For this reason, it is the source of life, and the main water source for both Egypt and Sudan. In 3000 BC, communities in and around the Nile began to prosper, became stable, and united into a single government, the first Egyptian Dynasty was formed. The biblical prophesies and background are noted in the prophecy section below.
The three leaders welcomed the “declaration of principles” agreement in speeches in Khartoum’s Republican Palace, and watched a short film about the Grand Renaissance Dam that highlighted how it could benefit the region, the Associated Press news agency reports.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told the gathering in Khartoum: “I reaffirm that Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam will not cause any harm to downstream countries”, Reuters news agency reports.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the project remained a source of concern to Egypt and stressed his country’s dependence on Nile waters:
“You will develop and grow and I am with you, but be aware that in Egypt the people live only on the water that comes from this river,”
“The Renaissance Dam project represents a source of development for the millions of Ethiopia’s citizens through producing green and sustainable energy, but for their brothers living on the banks of that very Nile in Egypt, and who approximately equal them in numbers, it represents a source of concern and worry,”
“This is because the Nile is their only source of water, in fact their source of life.”
The principles in the agreement include giving priority to downstream countries for electricity generated by the dam, a mechanism for resolving conflicts, and providing compensation for damages, Egyptian Irrigation Minister Hossam al-Moghazi said after the ceremony.
He told reporters the signatories also pledged to protect the interests of downstream countries when the dam’s reservoir is filled.
Addis Ababa has long complained that Cairo was pressuring donor countries and international lenders to withhold funding from the 6,000 megawatt dam, which is being built by Italy’s Salini Impregilo SpA.
Seif al-Din Hamid, an official in Sudan’s irrigation ministry, said the deal would not halt the ongoing construction.
Ethiopia wants to replace a 1929 treaty written by Britain that awarded Egypt veto power over any project involving the Nile by upstream countries.Ethiopia says the $4.7bn (£3.1bn) dam will eventually provide 6,000 megawatts of power.
Egypt was apparently caught by surprise when Ethiopia started diverting the Blue Nile – a tributary of the Nile – in 2013.
Ethiopia says the river will be slightly diverted but will then be able to follow its natural course.
Egyptian politicians were inadvertently heard on live TV in 2013, proposing military action over the dam.
Ethiopia has received strong backing from five other Nile-basin countries – Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi.
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For those that study prophecy, we know that both the Euphrates and the Nile River play a prominent role in future prophecy.
Euphrates is the border between the Middle East and Asia, and in Genesis 15:18, we are told that God promised Abraham and his people all the land between the Euphrates and the Nile. The Euphrates was also one of the main rivers surging from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:14).
There is a future prophecy in Revelation 16:12 that reveals the River Euphrates will be dried up in order to make a passage for the Kings of the East. The prophecy of the Euphrates drying up is unfolding right before our eyes today. In fact, just this month, it made headlines and you can read about it here. Additionally, Euphrates involves another prophecy, where four demonic angels will be bound for a day and one hour to carry out the judgment of God -to kill one-third of mankind (Revelation 9:14).
Nile River Prophecy
And the Nile River has played a major role in both future and past prophecy. (Please note: The word Nile appears in the Bible as Sihor and the “river of Egypt”).
The Nile, as we read in the article, is paramount to survival and a main source of water. Today, 83% of all Egyptians live by the beautiful Nile River, which is located along the western border to the Promised Land. The future prophecy is found in three different passages of the bible, telling us that it too will dry up:
- And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up. And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither.
The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more. The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish.Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded – Isaiah 19:5-9 (KJV).
And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers: I the LORD have spoken it –Ezekiel 30:12 (KJV).
- And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away – Zechariah 10:11 (KJV).
Knowing that the Nile is a life source, we can see why this will be a devastating prophecy. We can also see why this will be the root cause of future devastation as it links to survival, lands, territory, food, and political issues. The dam is enough to cause all these issues to bubble up to a boiling point!
Background on the Nile
The Nile is a major north flowing River, and is the world’s longest river, running through eleven countries and measuring a grandiose 4,258 miles long. The majority of the water flowing into the Nile comes from the Blue Nile, which begins at Lake Tana in Ethiopia. The Nile supplies water to ELEVEN different countries: Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Uganda, Congo-Kinshasa,Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda,Burundi, South Sudan,Eritrea. The Nile is also known for its recurring natural disasters – the infamous annual floods.
John Feeney wrote and photographed “The Last Nile Flood“.
“Flowing out of a barren desert, from a source “beyond all known horizons,” the Nile had baffled the world for thousands of years. Regular as sun and moon, in the middle of burning summer, without a drop of rain in sight, when all other rivers on earth were drying up, for no apparent reason at all, the Nile rose out of its bed every year, and for three months embraced all of Egypt.”
“The Nile’s source was only revealed a little more than a hundred years ago. In the heart of Africa, European explorers discovered a vast chain of equatorial lakes. And rising to nearly 5000 meters (16,000′) above these immense lakes, on the equator between Uganda and the Congo but nonetheless capped with snow, were mountains known as the Ruwenzoris, often identified with Ptolemy’s “Mountains of the Moon.” Around their silent peaks they clasp the frozen vapors of distant oceans. Earth’s greatest single stream, the White Nile, begins upon them. But this was not the complete answer. Why did the river rise so mysteriously every summer to flood Egypt?”
PAST and FUTURE PARALLELS of PROPHECY INVOLVING THE NILE:
Destruction of Babylon foretold:
- I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old – Isaiah 43:15-17 (KJV).
The Root of Jesse
- And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod- Isaiah 11:15 (KJV).
- Compare to Revelation 16:12, Exodus 14:29).
- Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst – Isaiah 50:2 (KJV).
- This applies to all future and past prophecy, it is demonstrative of God’s power and glory.
Salvation for Israel
While we see wrath coming, we also know that Jesus does not wish any man to perish, and that his undying mercy is bestowed upon everyone who calls upon his name. This verse implies both a wrath, and a redemption.
- Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. Isaiah 51:11 (KJV).
- Compare with Revelation 7:17, 21:11, 21:4. 22:3.
The Nile River is associated to many historical biblical stories and prophecies of old:
- And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river – Genesis 41:1 (KJV).
- And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive- Exodus 1:22 (KJV). See also, Acts 7:19 and Hebrews 11:23.
- Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood – Exodus 7:17 (KJV).
- And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood – Exodus 7:20 (KJV).
- And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land – Exodus 4:9 (KJV).
These biblical passages represent real events and stand out as paramount examples of both bondage and salvation. Similar events and punishments will manifest as we see our redemption drawing nearer. If you are interested in reading other verses about the Nile, you can find them in Isaiah 23:10, Jeremiah 46:71, Ezekiel 29:3, and Nahum 3:8.
History Repeats itself and there is nothing new under the sun
The Bible, not only provides us with a standard of living, but demonstrate God’s power and authority, and his mercy. Throughout history,man has sought to rebel against God, and we have seen swift punishment come upon those who refused God and chose evil. The headline news brings prophecy to the forefront, reminding us that God will carry out exactly what was prophesied long ago. The plagues bestowed upon many throughout the times of old, are what was and what is to come. They prove that the Word of God is real, and exactly what He said is coming to pass. Today, when we cross compare, we can see both bondage and salvation, and the punishment. As in Egypt, which was known to have over 2,000 ‘gods’, we see that polytheism has spread throughout the world today, along with other rebellious sins. All warranting the wrath of God. It is worth repeating, that while the end times are often feared, they can also be viewed as God’s warnings and His wish for man to turn from sin. The ultimate purpose of all of this, is to find salvation in Jesus. If you are not saved, and would like to know Jesus, please click here.
I hope you have been blessed by this study and I encourage you to continue learning the word of God. We are living in both exciting and perilous times, watching prophetic events unfold before our eyes. As we continue looking for our redemption, and keeping the blessed hope, remember to spread the word of Jesus!
In the Faithful Service of Jesus Christ,