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World Trump comment on 'blowing up' dam angers Ethiopia

15:26  24 october  2020
15:26  24 october  2020 Source:   bbc.com

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The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is at the centre of a long-running dispute involving Ethiopia , Egypt and Sudan. Mr Trump said Egypt would not be able to The speed with which Ethiopia fills up the dam will govern how severely Egypt is affected - the slower the better as far as Cairo is concerned.

US President Donald Trump on Friday voiced anger at Ethiopia over its construction of a huge dam on the Nile River and appeared to suggest that Egypt Trump -- a close ally of Egypt's general turned president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi -- had agreed to Cairo's pleas to mediate over the dam , with Treasury

Ethiopia's prime minister has said his country "will not cave in to aggressions of any kind" after President Donald Trump suggested Egypt could destroy a controversial Nile dam.

a building with a mountain in the background: The dam will be the biggest hydro-electric project in Africa © Reuters The dam will be the biggest hydro-electric project in Africa

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is at the centre of a long-running dispute involving Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.

Mr Trump said Egypt would not be able to live with the dam and might "blow up" the construction.

Ethiopia sees the US as siding with Egypt in the dispute.

The US announced in September that it would cut some aid to Ethiopia after it began filling the reservoir behind the dam in July.

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US President Donald Trump on Friday voiced anger at Ethiopia over its construction of a huge dam on the Nile River and appeared to suggest that Egypt may destroy it. Trump made the remarks as he announced a breakthrough normalization deal between US ally Israel and Sudan, which like Egypt

US President Donald Trump on Friday voiced anger at Ethiopia over its construction of a huge dam on the Nile River and appeared to suggest that Egypt may destroy it. Trump made the remarks as he announced a breakthrough normalization deal between US ally Israel and Sudan, which like Egypt

Why is the dam disputed?

Egypt relies for the bulk of its water needs on the Nile and is concerned supplies could be cut off and its economy undermined as Ethiopia takes control of the flow of Africa's longest river.

Once complete, the $4bn (£3bn) structure on the Blue Nile in western Ethiopia will be Africa's largest hydro-electric project.

The speed with which Ethiopia fills up the dam will govern how severely Egypt is affected - the slower the better as far as Cairo is concerned. That process is expected to take several years.

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  • Egypt fumes as Ethiopia celebrates over Nile dam
  • How the Nile's mega dam will be filled

Sudan, further upstream than Egypt, is also concerned about water shortages.

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US President Donald Trump on Friday voiced anger at Ethiopia over its construction of a huge dam on the Nile River and appeared to suggest that Egypt Trump -- a close ally of Egypt's general turned president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi -- had agreed to Cairo's pleas to mediate over the dam , with Treasury

US President Donald Trump on Friday voiced anger at Ethiopia over its construction of a huge dam on the Nile River and appeared to suggest that Egypt may destroy it. Up to now, the Trump administration has endorsed Egypt ’s position over the Nile dispute. That may be enough to embolden

Ethiopia, which announced the start of construction in 2011, says it needs the dam for its economic development.

Negotiations between the three countries were being chaired by the US, but are now overseen by the African Union.

What did the Ethiopian PM say?

PM Abiy Ahmed did not address Mr Trump's remarks directly, but there appears to be little doubt what prompted his robust comments.

Ethiopians would finish the dam, he vowed.

"Ethiopia will not cave in to aggression of any kind," he said. "Ethiopians have never kneeled to obey their enemies, but to respect their friends. We won't do it today and in the future."

Threats of any kind over the issue were "misguided, unproductive and clear violations of international law".

a large body of water with a city in the background: Sudan is worried too - the Blue and White Niles meet in Khartoum © Reuters Sudan is worried too - the Blue and White Niles meet in Khartoum

Why did Trump get involved?

The president was on the phone to Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu in front of reporters at the White House on Friday.

Trump suggests Egypt may 'blow up' Ethiopia dam

  Trump suggests Egypt may 'blow up' Ethiopia dam US President Donald Trump on Friday voiced anger at Ethiopia over its construction of a huge dam on the Nile River and appeared to suggest that Egypt may destroy it. Trump made the remarks as he announced a breakthrough normalization deal between US ally Israel and Sudan, which like Egypt fears that Ethiopia will use up scarce water resources. "It's a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way," Trump toldTrump made the remarks as he announced a breakthrough normalization deal between US ally Israel and Sudan, which like Egypt fears that Ethiopia will use up scarce water resources.

Trump , who held the call in front of reporters at the White House, said he had also told Egypt the same thing, saying it was a dangerous situation and that Cairo could end up " blowing up that dam ." "I had a deal done for them and then unfortunately Ethiopia broke the deal, which they should not have done.

US president made the remarks as he announced normalisation deal between Israel and Sudan US President Donald Trump voiced anger at Ethiopia over its construction of a huge dam on the Nile River and suggested Egypt may destroy it.

The occasion was Israel and Sudan's decision to agree diplomatic relations in a move choreographed by the US.

The subject of the dam came up and Mr Trump and Mr Hamdok expressed hopes for a peaceful resolution to the dispute.

But Mr Trump also said "it's a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way".

He continued: "And I said it and I say it loud and clear - they'll blow up that dam. And they have to do something."

What is the state of the negotiations?

Mr Abiy maintains that the negotiations have made more progress since the African Union began mediation.

But there are fears that Ethiopia's decision to start filling the reservoir could overshadow hopes of resolving key areas, such what happens during a drought and how to resolve future disputes.

a close up of a map © BBC

How the Nile dam might fix Sudan's floods .
Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the mega dam, with Sudan literally stuck in the middle.Unprecedented flooding in Sudan this year led to the deaths of more than 100 people and affected 875,000 others.

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