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US News Tensions around a dam between Egypt and Ethiopia after statements by Trump

17:55  24 october  2020
17:55  24 october  2020 Source:   france24.com

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Le barrage de la Renaissance est au cœur d'un conflit diplomatique entre l'Égypte et l'Éthiopie. © AFP The Renaissance dam is at the heart of a diplomatic conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia.

Tensions between Ethiopia and Egypt have been high for several months around the Renaissance dam (Gerd). A conflict whose American President, Donald Trump, has just rekindled the embers after a declaration of war.

Ethiopia said on Saturday October 23 that it would "not give in to any aggression of any kind" after US President Donald Trump said Egypt could destroy Ethiopia's mega-dam on the Nile .

Prime Minister's office, Abiy Ahmed , in a statement defended the Renaissance Dam (Gerd), set to become the largest in Africa , saying it has long worked to resolve related issues to this project with Sudan and Egypt, located downstream.

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"Nonetheless, one-off bellicose threats aimed at causing Ethiopia to succumb to abusive conditions still abound. These threats and affronts to Ethiopian sovereignty are ill-advised, unproductive, and in clear violation of international law," the statement said.

Abiy Ahmed's office does not directly mention Donald Trump, but publishes this press release the day after a statement by the US president supporting Egypt.

"This is a very dangerous situation, because Egypt will not be able to live this way," Donald Trump told reporters on Friday, after the announcement of an agreement by to normalize diplomatic relations between Israel and Sudan .

"They [The Egyptians] will eventually blow up the dam. I say it loud and clear: they will blow up this dam. They have to do something," said the US president.

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A bone of contention between the two countries

Egypt, dependent on the waters of the Nile for about 97% of its irrigation and drinking water, considers the dam to be an "existential" threat. For its part, Ethiopia sees it as an essential milestone in its electrification and development.

Washington's attempt to act as mediator in this case failed this year, after Ethiopia accused Donald Trump, close to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, of favoring Egypt.

Negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan are now conducted under the mediation of the African Union.

>> See also on France24.com: For its Renaissance dam on the Nile, "Ethiopia is ready for anything, absolutely anything"

The United States announced in early September the suspension of part of their financial assistance to Ethiopia after the latter unilaterally decided to fill the roadblock despite "lack of progress" in negotiations with Egypt and Sudan.

With AFP

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