1. Egypt and Sudan add to pressure on Ethiopia over Nile dam

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Construction of the dam
    Image caption: The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is a source of national pride for Ethiopia

    Egypt and Sudan have once again called for international mediation to end a long-running dispute over the construction of Ethiopia's dam on the River Nile.

    Both countries fear the dam could affect their water supply.

    The call came as the Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was on a visit to Sudan for the first time since the overthrow of its former President Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

    During his visit to Khartoum Mr Sisi met Sudan’s civilian and military leaders.

    The fact that these were separate meetings points to the somewhat awkward relationship between the different personalities in Sudan's transitional administration.

    But it seems they all agreed on one key issue: Ethiopia’s controversial dam.

    In a statement after the talks, Egypt and Sudan called for a new round of dialogue with an expanded mediation team to include officials from the African Union, the United States, the EU and the UN.

    They said an agreement had to be reached before Ethiopia starts the next stage of filling the dam's huge reservoir, which is expected to begin in June or July.

    While Ethiopia says it is willing to keep talking, it wants to stick to the dialogue organised by the African Union and does not want to involve these additional international mediators. So for now the dispute rumbles on.

    Egypt has long opposed the construction of the dam because it relies so heavily on the water from the Nile. It’s possible that Sudan could benefit from it though – experts say there would be less flooding and Sudan could get electricity in return.

    But in recent months Khartoum has hardened its position taking Egypt’s side.

    With the two countries signing military agreements and forming closer and closer ties this could increase the pressure on Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

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  2. Video content

    Video caption: In 2011 Egyptians took to the streets calling for the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak

    In 2011 Egyptians took to the streets calling for the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. Women were at the forefront of the protests, bravely defying the national stereotype.

  3. Egypt and Sudan back DR Congo to mediate dam dispute

    A general view of the Blue Nile river as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia, on December 26, 2019.
    Image caption: Years of negotiations over the Nile dam row have failed

    Egypt and Sudan have backed the Democratic Republic of Congo to lead negotiations on their row with Ethiopia over the mega dam on the Nile River.

    A joint statement by their foreign ministers affirmed their support for an “enhanced structure” of negotiation sponsored by the African Union (AU) that include the US, the European Union and the UN.

    The ministers also noted that a unilateral filling of the dam for the second phase would be a direct threat to their countries’ water security.

    Egyptian President President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who met Sudan's Foreign Minister Mariam al-Sadiq, said the dam was a vital issue for both countries.

    The plan for enhanced talks comes after Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi took over as AU chairman last month.

    Years of negotiations over the dam have been fruitless, including recent ones hosted by the US and the AU.

    Ethiopia sees the $4.8bn (£3.2bn) Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as crucial to producing electricity to power its economic growth.

    But it has led to bitter disputes with Egypt and Sudan, both of which are downstream and fear the large dam will greatly reduce their access to water.

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  4. Mummy X-ray reveals pharaoh's 'ceremonial execution'

    Alan Johnston

    Middle East editor, BBC World Service

    The mummy of Seqenenre Taa II
    Image caption: It had been thought Seqenenre Taa II had died on the battlefield

    Egyptian archaeologists using X-ray scans on the mummy of a pharaoh have revealed more about his violent death 3,600 years ago.

    The experts now believe that King Seqenenre Taa II may have been killed in a ceremonial execution after being captured on the battlefield.

    He had been fighting the Hyksos people, who had seized the Nile Delta.

    The examination found that Seqenenre was struck multiple times with different weapons.

    Earlier studies of the mummy had found severe head injuries. But there's always been uncertainty and speculation as to the exact cause of the king's death.

  5. Egypt's Lost Cities

    Video content

    Video caption: A team heads to Egypt in an attempt to uncover lost cities beneath the sands.

    Archaeological documentary. Having used satellites to discover cities, temples and pyramids beneath the sands, Dr Sarah Parcak heads to Egypt to find out if they are really there.

  6. Top Egyptian dentist accused of sexual assault

    BBC World Service

    Egypt's public prosecutor has ordered a top dentist to be remanded in custody after accusations that he sexually molested male patients.

    A well-known singer and actor have lodged formal complaints against him.

    The actor, Abbas Abo el-Hassan, urged other victims to come forward.

    The dentist has dismissed the accusations as a failed attempt to blackmail him.

    Many women have complained of sexual harassment in Egypt but male victims tend to keep quiet.

    The singer - Tamim Younis - described the abuse he was allegedly subjected to in an Instagram post, but the dentist said he was hallucinating due to the anaesthetic.

  7. Video content

    Video caption: Egypt's dreams of democracy still alive?

    It's been ten years since Egyptians took to the streets to unseat their longest-serving President, Hosni Mubarak.

  8. Egypt begins vaccinations

    Alan Johnston

    BBC Middle East analyst

    Ahmed Hamdan Zayed receives the Chinese Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine

    Egypt - the Arab world's most populous nation - has begun the process of vaccinating its more than 100 million citizens against the coronavirus. The country has recorded nearly 9,000 deaths from the disease.

    The first recipients of a vaccine were a doctor and a nurse. They were given a Chinese-made injection.

    Vaccines from Britain and Russia will be included in the inoculation programme as it unfolds.

    Egypt’s health minister said the country was aiming to produce an injection locally, with a view to distributing it to the rest of Africa.

    There have been warnings that the continent is in danger of being left behind, as richer parts of the world strike vaccine-supply deals and drive up prices.

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