It reminded me that, a while back, I saw the Nile Project perform at Krannert with musicians and dancers from those neighboring countries. That performance got me thinking about how Terramagne had managed somewhat better results, because those countries form one of the stronger unions on the continent. So tonight I put together some pieces of the timeline ...
1929 -- Egypt and Britannia signed the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty about using the water of the Nile River. Britainnia represented its colonies in the Nile River Basin; Egypt got the lion's share of the water and veto power over all projects on the Nile. Other affected countries were not consulted.
In 1929, an agreement was concluded between Egypt and Great Britain regarding the utilization of the waters of the Nile River—Britain was supposedly representing its colonies in the Nile River Basin. The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty covered many issues related to the Nile River and its tributaries.
1959 -- After years of Britannian rule, Egypt and Sudan threw off the empire and signed a bilateral agreement reinforcing the parameters of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1929. Again they shut out other affected countries, an increasingly unpopular move during the decolonization of Africa.
In 1959, Egypt and an independent Sudan signed a bilateral agreement, which effectively reinforced the provisions of the 1929 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty.
1965 -- Following its independence from Britannia in 1961, Tanganyika merged with Zanzibar in 1965 to form Tanzania. It argued that the Nile Water Agreements infringed on its rights as a sovereign state. The other upstream riparian states of Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia further argued that the treaties did not apply to them because they had not signed on as parties and in any case decolonization had left them with new governments unbound by previous agreements made by people no longer in power there.
Upstream riparian states such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia, have argued that they are not bound by these agreements because they were never parties to them. In fact, shortly after independence from Great Britain in 1961, Tanganyika’s (now Tanzania, after union with Zanzibar in 1964) new leader, Julius Nyerere, argued that the Nile Waters Agreements placed his country and other upstream riparian states at Egypt’s mercy, forced them to subject their national development plans to the scrutiny and supervision of Cairo, and that such an approach to public policy would not be compatible with the country’s status as a sovereign independent state.
1966 -- Despite Tanzania's early efforts, Kenya surged into surprising lead as a force of diplomacy and inclusivity. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia formed the Strategic Union of Upstream States. They agreed to manage the Nile and its tributaries for mutual benefit, to protect the ecosystems of its watershed, and to defend each other against encroachment by other countries. Egypt and Sudan were not even invited to the talks. Although Kenya had suggested including them, nobody else would put up with them. Kenya let it drop and bided its time. (Terramagne)
December 1, 1971 -- Egypt and Sudan attacked the nations of the upper Nile in the War of Riparian Power. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia instantly stood up for each other. This left the other Nile countries caught between them -- worst of all South Sudan in the literal middle, as Rwanda and Burundi were more sheltered and the Democratic Republic of the Congo was farther away. But Egypt and Sudan rolled over Eritrea and South Sudan, then cut into the Democratic Republic of the Congo to reach Rwanda and Burundi, where they took advantage of ethnic divisions to turn the locals against each other. It looked very bad for the Strategic Union of Upstream States. (Terramagne)
April 29, 1972 -- Driven by Egypt and Sudan, racial unrest burst into genocide in Burundi as Tutsi people killed about 300,000 Hutu people. At least that many more Hutu fled into neighboring countries.
The Tutsi-controlled government authorities originally estimated that roughly 15,000 had been killed, while Hutu opponents claimed the number was much closer to 300,000. Today, estimates range anywhere from 80,000 to 210,000 killed. Several hundred thousand Hutu are estimated to have fled the genocide into Zaire, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
May 1, 1972 -- Then Ethiopia played its trump card in the War of Riparian Power. As the monsoon arrived, a superhera named Wenz used Water Powers to shut off the flow of the Nile by dispersing the water throughout the Ethiopian highlands, causing low floods in some areas while forcing much of the water deep underground into aquifers. With 90% of the water cut off, the Nile dropped to a trickle. Frantic, Egypt and Sudan redoubled their attacks in an effort to find and destroy the culprit. This proved utterly ineffective as Wenz had, in essence, become the river. Within two months, Egypt and Sudan were forced to retreat in order to deal with rising unrest at home due to extreme water shortages. The failure of the annual flood was the final straw, and the war ended on August 30. Wenz released the Nile, but by then the damage was done, and the water level did not recover until 1976 due to droughts in 1973-1975.
ወንዝ (wenz) - river
The flooding of the Nile (Arabic: عيد وفاء النيل, romanized: eid wafa al-nayl) has been an important natural cycle in Egypt since ancient times.
November 13, 1972 -- An assassination attempt on Wenz in Ethiopia failed when she simply dissolved into water, and again shut off the Nile for a week. There were no further attempts, and indeed both Sudan and Egypt executed several people who agitated for trying again.
1973 -- An incipient famine in Ethiopia was averted by a combination of superpowers and support from other nations in the Strategic Union of Upstream States. About 20,000 people died. South Sudan, desiring better protection, pitched in with supplies; Rwanda and Burundi quickly saw the promise in this and followed suit. As a result, these three countries were added to the Strategic Union of Upstream States. (Terramagne)
1973 -- Famine returns to Amhara, spreads through northern provinces; failure to adequately handle this crisis contributed to the fall of the Imperial government and led to Derg rule.
Between 1972 and 1975, nearly 200,000 people died of starvation in Ethiopia during a years-long drought in the northern provinces of Wollo and Tigre. The famine was not, however, simply a result of the drought.
1974 -- Unrest in Ethiopia brought in a team of diplomats, mostly from Kenya, who settled the differences with some grumbling and managed to prevent the outbreak of a civil war. Charmed by the peaceful resolution, the Democratic Republic of the Congo petitioned for admission to the Strategic Union of Upstream States and was accepted. (Terramagne)
The Ethiopian Civil War was a civil war in Ethiopia and present day Eritrea, fought between the Ethiopian military junta communist governments and Ethio-Eritrean anti-government rebels from September 1974 to June 1991.
1984-1985 -- Another famine struck Ethiopia. At least 60,000 people died, 20,000 refugees were driven outside the country, 125,000 people were internally displaced, and 10,000 were orphaned. Many of the refugees and orphans found homes in allied countries.
See 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia. It had a death toll of "1.2 million dead, 400,000 refugees outside the country, 2.5 million people internally displaced, and almost 200,000 orphans", where majority of the dead were from Tigray provence and other parts of northern Ethiopia.
October 1, 1990 -- An incursion from the Ugandan Army nearly started a civil war in Rwanda, again involving tensions between Hutu and Tutsi. Only the intervention of diplomats from neighboring countries, particularly Kenya, averted open warfare.
The Rwandan Civil War was a civil war in Rwanda fought between the Rwandan Armed Forces, representing the government of Rwanda, and the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) from 1 October 1990 to 18 July 1994. The war, which lasted from 1990 to 1994, arose from the long-running dispute between the Hutu and Tutsi groups within the Rwandan population.
October 21, 1993 -- The assassination of President Ndadaye of Burundi sparked an uprising that caused the deaths of about 2,500 Tutsi. Order was only restored when diplomats from neighboring nations brokered a peace between the Hutu and Tutsi opponents. The diplomats managed to prevent civil war, but tensions remained between the ethnic groups.
Tensions finally reaching the boiling point on 21 October 1993 when President Ndadaye was assassinated, and the country descended into a period of civil strife. Some FRODEBU structures responded violently to Ndadaye's assassination, killing "possibly as many as 25,000 Tutsi".
The Burundian Civil War was a civil war in Burundi lasting from 1993 to 2005. The civil war was the result of long standing ethnic divisions between the Hutu and the Tutsi ethnic groups in Burundi.
April 7, 1994 -- Simmering tensions boiled over and caused a massacre of Tutsi and Twa in Rwanda. About 5,000 people were brutally killed and at least 2,500 were raped before it came to an end -- this time because one of the victims began to absorb bullets and then return them at extreme velocity, killing the entire Hutu gang attacking that town. Neighboring nations swept in to restore peace by force, and the surviving victim was hastily ushered into Kenya.
The Rwandan genocide, also known as the genocide against the Tutsi, was a mass slaughter of Tutsi, Twa, and moderate Hutu in Rwanda, which took place between 7 April and 15 July 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War.
1999 -- Kenya finally managed to get everyone to the table and form a preliminary agreement. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Sudan, and Egypt signed the Nile Basin Investigation to determine and formalize a united plan for using the Nile resources. Due to continuing tensions between upstream and downstream nations, it took several years to develop the final program.
Due to continuing tensions between Hutu and Tutsi, Kenya pushed through a provision to unite Hutu and Tutsi through marriage by giving such "river couples" incentives including government housing and tax relief. About 60% of such marriages suffered from domestic violence and/or child abuse, but the remaining 40% worked out surprisingly well. Given the history of uprisings and attempted genocides, Kenya called it a win, despite criticism from many other countries about the harm done to the 60% of troubled marriages. Kenya noted that those many other countries had done nothing to clean up the mess every time the Hutu-Tutsi rivalry flared up, and they could just put up or shut up. They shut up.
In 1999, the Nile River riparian states, except Eritrea, signed the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) in an effort to enhance cooperation on the use of the “common Nile Basin water resources.” Under the auspices of the NBI, the riparian states began work on developing what they believed would be a permanent legal and institutional framework for governing the Nile River Basin.
May 10, 2005 -- The Nile Alliance formed through a treaty among Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Sudan, and Egypt. What finally allowed it to work was that in addition to agreeing to share the water, the nations also agreed to share their food. Egypt held the land to grow it; Ethiopia held most of the water needed to irrigate it. By working together, they and the other nations could minimize the impact of droughts and famines that have ravaged Africa throughout much of its history. Programs of cultural exchange inspired a great surge of creativity across the member nations.
Despite the mess left by imperialism, Kenya continued to provide diplomatic leadership, and welcomed refugees -- even the wretched ones pouring in from Somalia, even people with superpowers unwelcome elsewhere. That's how it became a top-ten country for soups. Although the "river couple" program still suffered a high rate of domestic unrest, the other countries pitched in and broadened it from Hutu-Tutsi alone to include various other combinations of groups commonly at odds, with similarly mixed results. In light of the grilling they got from Kenya last time, other countries largely remained silent this time, and the main protests came from individuals, mostly feminists. Kenya invited them to come help clean up after the failed marriages, or else shut up about it, but few people cared enough to do actual work toward domestic safety.
The Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA), as this agreement is called, formally introduced the concept of equitable water allocation into discussions about Nile governance, as well as a complicating concept called “water security.”
As alliances go, this one is messy and incomplete, but a lot farther along than local-Africa has managed.
So what drove the divergence? I haven't pinned down all the details, but several elements here dovetail with the prior establishment of Kenya as a top-ten country for soups due to its policy of welcoming refugees. Based on my grasp of metaphysics (as in life purpose) and quantum physics (as in divergence across different dimensions), I think that T-Kenya wound up with a handful of diplomats whose contributions proved critical to their country and its neighbors -- whereas L-Kenya lost those people to violence, starvation, or other mishaps. Everyone comes into this life with something important to do, and if they die or just get derailed by hardships, that work doesn't get done. Many divergences occur based on small random factors that lead to significant differences in personnel. So whenever I read about a bunch of people dying needlessly, I always wonder what they were sent here to do and thus what's going undone because they aren't here to do it.