The African country Ethiopia said on Saturday that it is going to start filling water in the huge dam on the Nile River soon. At the same time, Ethiopia has also said that it is also committed to ending the dispute with neighbouring countries Egypt and Sudan over river water.
The Nile River flows through Ethiopia into Egypt and Sudan. A decade ago, Ethiopia started building dams on the Nile.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam or GERD is Africa’s largest hydroelectric project and has been a source of tension in the Nile Basin region since the beginning.
In a statement issued by Egypt and Sudan, it was said that Ethiopia has agreed not to fill the dam until the agreement is reached. But in a statement issued from the office of Prime Minister AB Ahmed, the statements of Egypt and Sudan were ignored.
Why are Egypt and Sudan afraid?
On one hand, Ethiopia says that this dam is necessary for its development.
At the same time, Egypt and Sudan fear that their share of water will be blocked in Ethiopia.
Leaders of the three countries held a phone conversation on Friday on the call of Cyril Ramaphosa, the current president of the African Union.
After this dialogue, both Sudan and Egypt said in their statement that Ethiopia is ready to stop till the agreement to fill the water in the dam.
Ethiopia did not mention such a thing in its statement.
The statement issued by Prime Minister Karyal said, “Ethiopia will start filling water in GERD in the next two weeks, during which construction work will continue. During this time the three countries will reach final agreement on pending matters.”
What other controversies are there?
Talks on the dam between the three countries began this month. The biggest topic of dispute is how the dam will work in the event of drought and how the pending disputes will be dealt with.
News agency AFP quoted diplomatic sources as saying that the UN Security Council could discuss Monday the opposition raised by Egypt and Sudan.
According to news agency Reuters, Egypt has tried to raise the issue with the UN Security Council to prevent Ethiopia from overflowing the dam, and the council may also hold a meeting on Monday.
Ethiopia is concerned about the interference of any foreign country in this dialogue.
In February, negotiations between the US Department of Revenue broke down in the middle. The AB government accused the US of favouring Egypt.
The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moses Faki Mohammed, said in a statement after talks between the heads of states of the three countries that ‘the three leaders have agreed to the negotiation process under the leadership of the African Commission to settle the dispute’.
At the same time, the statement issued by Prime Minister AB said that “the issue of Africa should be resolved in Africa”.
Nile river passes through 10 countries
In its statement, the African Union stated that “90% of the disputes between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have been settled.”
The union has also said that the three countries should not make any such statement or take any such step which can hurt the dialogue process.
The Commission has said that a committee has been formed which will submit its report to Cyril Ramaphosa within a week.
Africa’s largest river Nile passes through ten countries and is the lifeline of these countries. Apart from water, it is also an important source of electricity.
Ethiopia’s GERD dam being built on the Nile has spent nearly $ 4 billion and will generate 6450 MW of electricity.