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Offbeat Dam on the Nile: Ethiopia will continue filling, Sudanese and Egyptian threats

20:50  07 april  2021
20:50  07 april  2021 Source:   liberation.fr

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Vue du Nil bleu passant et du Grand barrage de la Renaissance (GERD) construit par l'Ethiopie, près de Guba, le 26 décembre 2019 © Eduardo Sideras View of the Blue Nile passing and the great Renaissance dam (GERD) built by Ethiopia, near Guba, 26 December 2019

Ethiopia announced on Wednesday that it would continue the filling of the mega-barrage that it builds on the Nile despite the persistent litigation with its neighbors downstream, Egypt and Sudan, who have, insured. No options to defend their interests.

These statements occur in the aftermath of the end of unsuccessful negotiations between the foreign ministers of the three countries in Kinshasa, under the auspices of the Congolese Head of State Félix Tshisekedi, President in the exercise of the African Union (AU).

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Since the beginning of the work of the Dam by Ethiopia in 2011, Egypt and Sudan wanted a tripartite agreement on the operation of the dam before the filling begins. But Ethiopia estimates that this filling is an integral part of the construction of its "large dam of the Renaissance" (or gerd) and can not be delayed.

Carte d'Afrique de l'Est montrant le fleuve du Nil et la localisation du grand barrage éthiopien de la Renaissance © Janis Latvels Map of East Africa showing the Nile River and the location of the Grand Ethiopian dam of the Renaissance

despite the diplomatic stalemate, the filling, one of which has been completed in 2020, will continue. During the next rainy season that must begin in June or July, announced Wednesday his Minister of Water, Seleshi Bekele.

Image tirée d'une vidéo diffusée le 24 juillet 2020 par la chaîne éthiopienne EBC du grand barrage de la Renaissance à Guba, en Ethiopie © - Image from a video broadcast on July 24 2020 by the EBC Ethiopian chain of the Great Renaissance dam in Guba, Ethiopia

"As the construction advances, the filling takes place", A-T- He stated at a press conference. "We do not give it back," he said.

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 Dam on the Nile: Negotiations resume at Kinshasa © AFP (Archive) Aerial view of the water levels of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Guba, Ethiopia, July 24, 2020. Negotiations " The last chance "were started on Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo between Ethiopia which defends his Renaissance dam of the Nile, and Egypt and Sudan, hostile to the project. The Ethiopia , the Egypt and the Sudan resumed Sunday, April 4 in Kinshasa their negotiations around the Ethiopian mega barrage on the blue Nile .

From Khartoum, the Sudanese Minister of Irrigation, Yasser Abbas, warned Addis Ababa that for his country, "all the options are possible, including the return to the Security Council (and) the path of political hardening" , if "Ethiopia undertakes the second fill without agreement".

Vue du barrage de Roseires sur le Nil, le 27 novembre 2020 à Damazin, dans le sud-est du Soudan © Ebrahim Hamid View of the Rosere Dam on the Nile, November 27, 2020 in Damazin, southeast of Sudan

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi also reiterated his warnings. "I say to our Ethiopian brothers: Do not touch a drop of Egypt's water because all the options are open," he said at a ceremony in the eastern Cairo.

Photo d(archives d'un manifestants à New York, le 11 mars 2021, au grand barrage éthiopien de la Renaissance (GERD) sur le Nil bleu. © Timothy A. Clary Photo D (Archives of a protesters in New York, March 11, 2021, at the Grand Ethiopian Dam of the Renaissance (GERD) on the blue Nile.

End of March, President Sissi had already mentioned a "unimaginable instability" if the dam threatened "a drop of" Egyptian "water.

-" Imminent danger "-

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The GERD is a source of tension between the three countries since the first stone pose in April 2011.

This mega - Starting, a total capacity of 74 billion m3 of water, is constructed in northwestern Ethiopia, near the border with Sudan, on the blue Nile that joins the white Nile in Khartoum to form Nile.

with an advertised capacity of nearly 6,500 megawatts, it could become the largest hydroelectric dam of Africa.

Ethiopia affirms that the hydroelectric energy produced by the dam is vital to meet the energy needs of its 110 million inhabitants.

But Egypt, which depends on the Nile for about 97% d e Its irrigation and drinking water, considers the Ethiopian dam as a threat to its water supply.

Sudan concerned that its own dams are damaged if Ethiopia carries out the complete filling of the GERD before an agreement is concluded.

The last attempt at negotiations, in Kinshasa, ended Tuesday night on a new failure of failure.

Ethiopia "threatens the peoples of the Nile basin, and Sudan directly," said Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam Al Mansoura Elsadig Almahdi at the end of the three days of discussions.

"Without new program (for discussions), Ethiopia has a boulevard in front of it to put the peoples of the region and the whole African continent in imminent danger," she said.

The Ethiopian irrigation minister deplored Wednesday that Egyptian and Sudanese negotiators claimed the increased involvement of South African, American and European Union (EU). Ethiopia wants to privilege the process leads by the Presidency of the AU, headquartered in Addis Ababa, its capital.

The talks must resume before the end of the month, Tuesday evening the Ethiopian diplomacy.

BUR-SVA / FAL / HBA

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