Dam on the Nile: Ethiopia condemns the “interference” of the Arab League

In a statement Tuesday, two days before the UN Security Council meeting, Ethiopia condemned the “interference” of the Arab League in the dispute between Egypt and Sudan over a mega dam on the Nile.

The Arab League announced in June that it supported the Security Council’s intervention in the matter, despite Ethiopia’s insistence that negotiations take place as part of an ongoing process under the auspices of the African Union.

Ethiopia rejects the undesirable interference of the League of Arab States in the case of the Ethiopian Renaissance Great Dam (GERD) after the League submits a letter to the UN Security Council and the ‘UN General Assembly to intervene in this matter,” the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said.

Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen expressed his “disappointment” in a letter to the Security Council on Monday, the statement added, saying “the League of Arab States is known for its unconditional support for any request from Egypt on the subject of the Nile.”

The Titanic Renaissance Great Dam (GERD) project, built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile since 2011, has been the source of litigation for nearly a decade with Egypt and Sudan, located downstream.

Addis Ababa sees this project as crucial to its energy autonomy and development, but Cairo and Khartoum see it as a threat to their water resources.

Ethiopia, which said it carried out the first phase of charging in the summer of 2020, has announced it will move to the second phase with or without an agreement.

On Monday, Egypt said Ethiopia had launched this second phase, condemning “strongly (this) unilateral measure”.

Neither the office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed nor the Foreign Minister of Ethiopia have responded to AFP’s requests for confirmation of the launch of the second phase of compliance.

But a senior water ministry official told AFP that the filling would be done on schedule.

According to Ethiopia, adding water to a reservoir is a natural process, especially during the rainy season. “The filling goes in parallel with the construction. If the rains are what you see in July, they must have started,” he added.

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