Ethiopia to skip Nile Dam talks in US with Egypt, Sudan

Ethiopia to skip Nile Dam talks in US with Egypt, Sudan
Ethiopia to skip Nile Dam talks in US with Egypt, Sudan

Controversial issues on the construction of Ethiopia’s mega-dam have been in the limelight over some time. This follows a compromised deal as Ethiopia skipped February negotiations concerning the issue of the period of dam refill. Through a tweet from Ethiopia’s minister of water, irrigation, and energy it was clear they would skip the meeting. He said they would not attend the earlier arranged meeting that is to take place in Washington.

Ethiopia refuses to surrender its rights of river Nile

The negotiations were held in the US as Egypt’s president invited them to help intervene in the matter. This follows their strong alliance. These negotiation talks were chaired by the US treasury department. The US secretary stated that the anticipation to reach an agreement during the February meeting is out ruled for there is still so much work to do before completion of the dam. As such it could take months before the countries come to a consensus.

Nevertheless, Ethiopia’s ambassador Fitsum Arega said to the US that Ethiopia was not going to push through with the previous arrangements. For neither was it going to sign any treaty or surrender its rights to use the river.

The dam is Ethiopia’s promise for development and Egypt’s fear of devastation

Contrary to Ethiopia the Egyptians had signed a treaty with the British colonialists on the construction of projects on the dam. Hence, they had a permit to it thus construction of Aswan dam. As much as this dam is a green source of electricity to Ethiopia it is bound catastrophic to Egypt. The dispute arises between these northeast African states because the Egyptians are worried that filling the dam will affect the downstream flow of Nile. As such will be of a great impact on their lives. The feud is on because Ethiopia remains resistant from a mutual agreement.

As such, Egypt is concerned about how quickly Ethiopia is to fill the mega-dam. Depending on the filling rate, i.e. if they fill it as quickly as they suppose, the Nile in Egypt will run dry. This attributes to the slow flow rate of the water from its source to its north and south destinations. Since 70% of the dam is completed, the refill is to commence as soon as possible. To be precise in January. This attributes to the greatly awaited development. When the Hydro-Electric Plant starts to generate power,90% of Ethiopia’s population would access electricity. Moreover, Ethiopia would export electricity.

Hence this dam holds its key to great developments. Since time immemorial, the Egyptians have relied on the Nile waters for their survival especially as it is a country in the desert. When Ethiopia proceeds with a quick refill, this could result in potential irreversible damages. There would be water and food crises due to desertification, drought, and loss of agricultural land. Egypt nationalities fear for their future most especially as their food basket is under threat.

Results of failed negotiations

The ongoing negotiations have been tough as the countries of concern failed to come to terms. Ethiopia has threatened that any attempts to halt its operations would end in military conflict. While it’s also alleged by the Ethiopian government that Egypt sent some people to sabotage its project. Moreover, they sent assassinators who killed the operating manager of the project. Needless these attempts were all in vain as the project is almost to be completed.





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