Ethiopia, Egypt spar again over GERD dam project
Egypt’s foreign ministry says Ethiopia is wrong in again claiming that Cairo politicizes the progress on its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a US$4.8 billion hydropower project that Egypt, as well as Sudan, claim will siphon away water resources from their nations.
Hamdi Loza, the Egyptian deputy foreign minister for African Affairs, denied Ethiopia’s accusations and said the Egyptian concerns over the disputed Nile River water resources are real and based on reliable scientific data.
He emphasized that Ethiopia’s stance “is an attempt to deviate from legal responsibility, and a disregard for the principles of international law and good neighbors,” said the Egyptian foreign ministry in its statement. It called unfortunate the latest round of negotiations with the African Union, which it cast as another stall tactic.
Egypt also denounced Ethiopia’s unilateral decision to move forward in filling the dam, now in its fourth phase. Ethiopia has long maintained that it needs no approval from other countries or international organizations to move forward with its own plans as a sovereign nation.
Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have held negotiations over the Nile River impacts for a decade, with Egypt maintaining that Ethiopia is bound to provisions of a 1959 agreement while Addis Ababa holds to a 2015 agreement on shared resources and insists that a much-needed 15,000 GWh per year in energy is crucial to Ethiopia’s development.
The parties have remained at an impasse despite multiple rounds of negotiations.
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