Uganda says it has signed security agreement with Egypt amid tensions over Ethiopia dam


KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda and Egypt have signed a military intelligence sharing agreement, the east African country said late on Wednesday, against a backdrop of rising tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia over a hydropower dam on a tributary of the Nile river.

According to a statement by the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF), the agreement was signed between UPDF's Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and the Egyptian Intelligence Department.

"The fact that Uganda and Egypt share the Nile, cooperation between the two countries is inevitable because what affects Ugandans will in one way or other affect Egypt," Maj. Gen. Sameh Saber El-Degwi, a top Egyptian intelligence official who headed Cairo's delegation to Kampala, was quoted in the UPDF statement as saying.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has warned of the risk of conflict over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile, one of the tributaries of the Nile.

Ethiopia is banking on the dam to boost its power generation capacity and fuel economic development but Egypt fears the project will imperil its fresh water supplies.

Sudan is also concerned about the impact on its own water flows.

Uganda, where the Nile begins, has historically opposed Egypt's attempts to exercise control over hydropower projects in upstream countries.

The two countries, according to the agreement, will now "share resourceful intelligence on a regular basis."

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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