The Nile -a national security or human security issue? An analysis of the Nile Basin Initiative negotiation process from an Egyptian perspective

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The Nile has always been the lifeblood of Egypt and even today Egyptian leaders invoke threats of military nature if its access to the Nile is in any way diminished. Being a downstream nation it is in a vulnerable position and compensates with a strong military and bigger economy than other riparian states. With Egypt’s rights to the vast majority of the Nile water quota stemming from colonial times, upstream nations are challenging the status quo in the hopes of reaching a more equitable basin wide agreement. Under the guise of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), created in 1999, numerous negotiations have been attempted to reach a deal that could bolster social and economic benefits to all Basin people. Egypt is positive to cooperation but negative to giving up its rights to veto any development projects along the Nile and its water access. This thesis investigates how Egypt has applied a national security perspective towards the Nile and how a gradual inclusion of the more cooperation oriented human security perspective has influenced the Egyptian negotiation stance since the inception of the NBI.

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