REVEALED: Details of South Sudan-Egypt MoU on Bahr El Jebel dredging

The Memorandum of Understanding South Sudan signed with Egypt to carry out dredging-related activities gives the government the right to suspend the implementation of the project.

South Sudan signed the MoU with Egypt on the 28th of July last year.

Late Manawa Peter, the then Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation signed on behalf of the government, while Mohamed Abdel Aty signed on behalf of the government of Egypt.

The 28th of July, 2021 agreement stipulates that either party may give written notice of fifteen days, provided such suspension shall not exceed a period of three months.

It also said the deal shall still into effect for a period of six months from the date of receiving the termination notice by the other party.

However, it is not clear if the South Sudan government notified Egypt.

President Salva Kiir suspended the project during his 11th-anniversary speech to South Sudanese.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, any dispute arising between the two parties shall be settled without resorting to a third party or national, or international judicial authorities.

It also states that all parties are obliged not to disclose, use, or publish information and documents exchanged, or any results related to the implementation of the MoU, except after obtaining written consent from the other party.

The deal entered into force from the date of its signature, and to continue for three years, subject to extension.

The termination of the MoU does not affect the activities arising from it until its end unless the parties agree otherwise.

The agreement, titled: “Flood mitigation in Bahr el Jebel Basin” aims to clear waterways of the Bahr el Jebel from weeds and any other obstacles.

It is also to prepare hydrological and hydraulic studies, environmental and social impact studies, and prepare proposals for rehabilitating Bahr el Jebel in order to achieve flood risk protections.

The MoU provides for rapid assessment of the hotspots area in Bahr el Jebel from Juba to Lake No, clearance of blockage in Bahr el Jebel waterways, and strengthening of river banks in front of villages and cities that may face floods hazards.

It said Egypt, in coordination with the government of South Sudan, is to select a consultant to prepare studies and proposals for the rehabilitation of Bahr el Jebel to reduce flood hazards including dredging in South Sudan.

Prepare hydrographic survey studies, prepare flood risk maps of the regions exposed to the risk of flooding, and prepare environmental and social impact assessment studies.

The deal also allows Egypt to carry out the procurement procedures, while the direct supervision shall be under the executive organization of experts of both countries.

The agreement gives South Sudan some obligations which include informing the Egyptian government of any conditions which interfere with or threaten its successful implementation.

Others are to facilitate the procedure, facilities, permits, licenses, and exemption of all taxes, customs, and duties, in connection with the importation and delivery of all goods, equipment, and tools required for grant implementation in South Sudan.

For the Egyptian government, it is obliged to provide a grant to support the implementation of the “Flood mitigation in Bahr el Jebel Basin Project”.

The MoU further stipulates that equipment provided by the government of Egypt shall remain the property of the project unless the parties agree otherwise.

Last week, the public consultation on the Nile Water and Management concluded with calls for credible feasibility studies before dredging of the Nile tributaries takes place.

International and national environmental experts made their presentations to the public, civil society, activists, lawyers, doctors, academia, legislature, and the cabinet among others.

The committee tasked by the Presidency to organize the public consultation is expected to present its final report with recommendations to President Salva Kiir.

A memorandum of understanding, or MOU, is defined as an agreement between parties and can be bilateral (two) or multilateral (more than two parties).

The MoU serves as an expression of aligned will between the parties in question and depicts the intent of a common line of action.

The MOU, although a formal document, is not legally binding.

It merely shows the willingness of each concerned party to take action to move the contract forward.

In addition, an MOU brings about the definition of the purposes and scope of negotiations.

Below is a link to the MoU the South Sudan government signed with Egypt to carry out dredging along the Bahr el Jebel basin. Its in both Arabic and English text.

مذكرة التفاهم بين حكومة جمهورية مصر العربية و حكومة جنو…بص… روع الحد من مخاطر الفيضان بحوض بحر الجيل بجمهورية جنوب السودان (2)


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