Ethiopia dismisses Egypt’s recent warning on Blue Nile dam

Sunday March 19, 2023


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Egypt and Ethiopia have as soon as once again locked horns in a recent row over the latter’s huge dam task, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile.

The new growth comes after Cairo issued a recent warning saying that “all options are on the table” to take care of any threats to its water provide posed by the Ethiopian mega 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 angrily responded, dismissing as “irresponsible” the remarks by the Egyptian Foreign minister.


“Such a risk constitutes a flagrant breach of the United Nations Charter and Constitutive Act of the African Union,” Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement issued later on Thursday.

An aerial view of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River in Guba, northwest Ethiopia. PHOTO | ADWA PICTURES | AFP

“This additionally stands as a transparent violation of the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam signed on 23 March 2015 between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan. Egypt have got to give up its callous and illegal pronouncements,” the statement added.

Ethiopia called upon all concerned actors to take note of what it described as Egypt’s flagrant violation of principles of international relations, underscoring that no interest can be advanced through threats and intimidation.

Good faith

“If approached in good religion and with full respect for standards of global legislation, an amicable answer between the three nations is within sight inside the negotiations below the auspices of the African Union,” the Ethiopian statement said.

“Yet once again, Ethiopia reiterates its calls on the events to re-engage the African Union platform and attain a negotiated answer on the GERD.  On its half, Ethiopia stays dedicated to a win-win settlement of this matter.” 

Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have been locked in talks for about a decade over the dam, after Addis Ababa broke ground on the project in 2011.

In his Wednesday remarks, Shoukry accused Ethiopia of failing to reach a binding agreement with Egypt and Sudan over the long-standing dispute on GERD.

“Egypt’s signing of the Agreement of Principles with Ethiopia was an expression of its goodwill, however regrettably we didn’t discover flexibility on the Ethiopian aspect,” Shoukry said.

The Egyptian Minister, however, said his country will “proceed to work together with all nations to resolve the water dispute “despite lack of commitment from the Ethiopian side”.

Workers waving Ethiopia’s flag rejoice for the duration of the primary capability iteration ceremony at the location of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Guba on February 20, 2022. PHOTO | AMANUEL SILESHI | AFP

Cairo and Khartoum worry that the mega dam task would sooner or later diminish their historic water shares from the River Nile consequently think about it a risk to their water safety.

They insist that Ethiopia need to halt filling the dam till the events attain a legally binding settlement with Addis Ababa on the general operation of the dam.

Addis Ababa, even so, argues that the dam is not going to have a substantive influence on the herbal water circulate into the downstream nations.

Last week, the Ethiopian authorities accused the Arab League states of “politicising” the Nile dam challenge.

Arab League decision

The accusation comes after the 22-member league exceeded a decision relating to the filling and operation of GERD.

The Arab League on Thursday final week exceeded a decision supporting Egypt’s historic water rights from the River Nile.

In her response, Addis Ababa accused the League of being biased in its place over the long-standing dispute on GERD.

“The League is once again serving as the spokesperson of one state, disregarding basic principles of international law,” the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a assertion final Friday.

“Such attempts to politicise the issue of GERD neither advance friendly relations nor support the efforts to arrive at amicable solutions as they are not based on facts or supported by law,” the assertion added.

“We should not have to remind the League that the Nile River and all the riparian countries are found in Africa,” the Ethiopian assertion added.

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