African water wars headed upstream?

Since the sacking of Constantinople (modern day Istanbul), Moscow has been considered the “Third Rome” of Orthodox Christianity and this naturally means that Russia generally takes the mistreatment of Orthodox Christians elsewhere with concern. The US war in Iraq pretty much destroyed the minority Orthodox Church there with few left that weren’t killed or relocated to the West.

In Syria the Russian government has proclaimed it’s interest in the large minority Orthodox Church there which has been protected by President Assad from being killed off by Islamic rebels. In 2012-2013 several thousand of Syrian Christians have been relocated to Russia. Russia will back Assad for several reasons, including his role as protector of the Syrian Orthodox community from Islamic persecution.

Fast-forward to Egypt where Egyptian President Morsi, thankfully ousted, had allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to create a new reign of terror on the Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox community. The Coptic Orthodox is a minority faith, but the second in size after Islam and the oldest continuing minority community in Egypt.

The USA had turned a blind eye to the destruction of Egyptian churches and killing of Christians for fear of upsetting the Muslim Brotherhood but with Morsi out, things may return to some sort of normalcy for Orthodox Christians in Egypt, especially as water wars are heating up in Africa. Next door neighbor Ethiopia, a friend of Russia and an Orthodox nation, is building the largest dam in Africa, sparking concerns from other nations which share water from the Nile.

Maybe those Egyptian Orthodox Christians might be best left alive after all. Ethiopia, a Christian Orthodox nation surrounded mostly by Muslim neighbor countries, is building a large “grand” dam on the Nile. Egypt is asking the Coptic Christian Orthodox Church, the largest and oldest minority Christian body in Egypt, to help negotiate water issues with Ethiopia.

Ethiopia: the Nile River.
Ethiopia: the Nile River.

In the map below the smaller blue line close to the centre is the Nile (Нил) river running from the bottom in Ethiopia (Эфиопия) thru Sudan (Судан) and Egypt (Египет). The larger body of water you see in blue to the centre/right is the Red Sea (Красное море). The Nile empties into the Mediterranean Sea (Средиземное море) at the ancient city of Alexandria (Александрия).

The map is correct; the Nile flows northward.

Africia map
Egypt gets 95% of its drinking water from the Nile, and being a desert country with almost no rain, depends on water from the Nile for drinking, agriculture and industry.

The Nile runs through most of Egypt's major cities. This is the capital, Cairo.
The Nile runs through most of Egypt’s major cities. This is the capital, Cairo.

Under 1960s agreements Egypt is entitled to 66% of the Nile’s water but other neighboring countries are thirsty, and want to renegotiate. There is talk of war over water as eleven countries get most of their drinking and agricultural water from the Nile.

Dam construction has begun in Ethiopia.
Dam construction has begun in Ethiopia. (Photo: blog.)

At times the river splits into two before coming back together. They are called the Blue Nile and the While Nile. When separated the Blue Nile is the larger river.