Ethiopia Gets Into Fresh Disputes With Egypt Over Blue Nile Dam
Egypt and Ethiopia have re-entered a dispute over the latter’s mega dam project, the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile.
This new development comes after Cairo issued a new alert saying “all options are on the table” to deal with threats to water supplies from Ethiopia’s massive dam.
“All options are open, and all alternatives remain available, and Egypt has its capabilities,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry warned on Wednesday.
“We just declare all options open without defining specific procedures, and this serves the Egyptian interest in retaining all available alternatives,” Shoukry said, adding that Egypt takes disciplined stances towards Ethiopian “intransigence”.
A day later, Addis Ababa reacted angrily and called the Egyptian foreign minister’s statements “irresponsible”.
“Such a threat constitutes a flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the founding acts of the African Union,” Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said in a statement released on Thursday.
The statement further said, “This is a clear violation of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Declaration of Principles Memorandum of Understanding signed between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan on March 23, 2015, and Egypt must stop its harsh and unlawful statements.”
Also, read; South African Pastor, Siva Moodley buried 579 days after his death
Ethiopia called on all interested parties to take note of what it called Egypt’s flagrant violation of the principles of international relations, stressing that no interest could be encouraged through threats and intimidation.
“If handled in good faith and with full respect for the principles of international law, an amicable solution between the three countries will be achievable through negotiations under the auspices of the African Union,” the Ethiopian statement said.
Ethiopia reiterates its calls for the parties to rejoin the AU program and reach a negotiated settlement on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. For its part, Ethiopia remains committed to a mutually beneficial deal.
Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have been in talks about the dam for about a decade after Addis Ababa started the project in 2011.
In his speech on Wednesday, Shoukry accused Ethiopia of failing to reach a binding deal with Egypt and Sudan over the longstanding dispute over the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Shoukry said that Egypt’s signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Ethiopia was an expression of its good faith, but unfortunately we found no flexibility on the Ethiopian side.
However, the Egyptian minister said his country “will continue to work with all countries to resolve the water dispute,” despite the lack of commitment on the Ethiopian side.