Libya Unrest Threatens to Derail Water Diplomacy in North Africa

An employee at the water facility for the Great Man-Made River project outside Benghazi, Libya, July 13, 2011 (AP photo by Sergey Ponomarev).
An employee at the water facility for the Great Man-Made River project outside Benghazi, Libya, July 13, 2011 (AP photo by Sergey Ponomarev).

With water scarcity increasing political tension and threatening economic instability in countries across the world, transboundary water disputes often become highly charged and bitterly divisive. A prominent example has been the Nile basin in northeast Africa, where the nations sharing the Nile’s waters have for years sparred over their usage allotments amid concerns that upstream countries may interfere with water flow into downstream countries. Most recently, the region’s flashpoint for transboundary water conflict has been Ethiopia’s construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam, which within several years will stretch across the Blue Nile at the Ethiopian-Sudanese border. The controversial project has […]

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