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Egypt Accuses Ethiopia of Monopolizing Nile Waters

Egypt Accuses Ethiopia of Monopolizing Nile Waters

Friday, 19 March, 2021 - 07:45
Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam is seen as it undergoes construction work on the Nile River in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia, Sept. 26, 2019. (Reuters)

Egypt said Thursday that Addis Ababa has shown its intention to impose a fait accompli on the Nile downstream countries by attempting to continue filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

"Ethiopian officials use the language of sovereignty in their talks about exploiting the resources of a cross-border river. It is impermissible to extend sovereignty over them [cross border rivers] or seek to monopolize them,” said a statement by Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Hafez.

On Wednesday, speaking on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the inauguration of GERD in a symposium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen said his country is proceeding with the second phase of filing the controversial dam’s reservoir.

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have not reached a legal and binding agreement on the operation and filling of the dam.

“Completing the flagship project is a matter of assuring the sovereignty of the country,” the Ethiopian minister said.

Commenting on the statements, Egypt voiced rejection to Ethiopia's determination to carry out the second phase of filling GERD later this year.

Hafez said the second phase poses a threat to the interests of the Egyptian and Sudanese peoples and such unilateral measures impact security and stability in the region.

Egypt also considered the Ethiopian statements as a reflection to the absence of political desire in negotiation while the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the current leader of the African Union, is making appreciable efforts to relaunch the path of negotiations and reach an agreement before the next season of the flood.

“Egypt and Sudan emphasized the importance of an active involvement of the international community in talks led and conducted by the Democratic Republic of the Congo through an international quartet that includes the US, the EU, and the UN, in order to ensure the effectiveness of the negotiation process and to push the three countries and help them reach an agreement on the dam in the coming months,” Hafez said.

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