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– Ethiopian Embassy pushes for adoption
ADDIS ABABA- Cognizant of the Cooperative Framework Agreement’s (CFA) key role to ensure the country’s socio-economic benefits, the South Sudanese government is in a good position to ratify the accord, according to a diplomat.
In an exclusive interview with the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA) Ethiopian Ambassador to South Sudan Nebil Mahdi said that the South Sudanese legislative organ is expected to incorporate the CFA as part of the country’s law soon.
South Sudan and Kenya are the only upstream countries that have not yet adopted the CFA as their domestic laws. If either of the two countries’ parliaments ratifies the framework, it will irreversibly correct the age-long unjust utilization of the Nile water, Ambassador Nebil elaborated.
Though South Sudan’s ministerial council adopted the CFA some five years ago, the accord needs to be ratified by the country’s parliament. While South Sudanese lawmakers heard the details of the framework once in a formal parliament session, the Ethiopian Embassy in Juba has also been organizing awareness creation programs to promote the pact’s significance to various stakeholders.
“We have discussed with 160 South Sudanese parliamentarians about the possible benefits of the CFA and to make the framework clear for them. The standing committee of parliament has also discussed the accord with us twice and an understanding was created that no one will lose benefit as a result of the framework adoption. The national interest of South Sudan has been accommodated in the drafted law and the framework is also protecting the national interest of other Nile Basin countries.”
According to him, Burundi has submitted a unilateral ratification of the framework recently. Now, Kenya and South Sudan are most needed countries for the full ratification of the framework at regional level and the government of South Sudan on its part shows a green light into this.
The diplomat further highlighted that the Ethiopian Embassy has also created the link with academicians and academic institutions of South Sudan. “To almost all faculties in Juba University, we clarified the aim of the CFA and held workshops.”
Ethiopia’s agenda on CFA adoption is just to make ‘reasonable and equitable use’ as a legal framework, Ambassador Nebil emphasized.
The annual session of the South Sudanese parliament will be opened next month and the ratification of CFA is expected to have priority immediately after the opening of the session, The Ethiopian Herald learned.
BY YESUF ENDRIS
THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD WEDNESDAY 24 JANUARY 2024