Ethiopia is proceeding with the second filling of the controversial dam on the Nile River despite Egyptian and Sudanese warnings.
Egypt and Sudan call for a legally binding agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)'s filling and operation to guarantee their water right, while Ethiopia refuses to commit to any agreement that limits its capability to develop its resources.
Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen said that his country owns 86% of the river’s waters and that no one can prevent the country from benefiting from its share.
He noted that Ethiopians had gone through several ups and downs over the past years to realize the project.
Demeke made the remark at a symposium organized over the 10th anniversary of the commencement of the dam.
Ethiopia's Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy Dr. Seleshi Bekele, for his part, expressed his country's commitment to the international law obligations regarding transboundary waters.
Yet, he added that efforts to cooperate with the negotiating states were in vain.
Bekele said the second filling of the GERD would be implemented in the coming rainy season, which starts in July, and “will not be postponed by any means.”
Spokesman for Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dina Mufti said that Ethiopia has “great respect for the African Union” and that the country “believes in resolving African problems by Africans.”
Ethiopia’s FM also said that they haven’t received an official proposal to form a quartet committee that includes the European Union, the United Nations, the United States, and the African Union to mediate the GERD talks.