Egypt-Ethiopia dispute over giant Nile dam reaches critical point

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Addis Ababa intends to start filling reservoir in July despite lack of agreement from Egypt and Sudan

A general view of the Blue Nile river as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia, on December 26, 2019. AFP



With the world’s attention focused on the coronavirus pandemic, a long-simmering water dispute in Africa may be nearing boiling point.

Ethiopia says it will not wait for an agreement with downstream nations Egypt and Sudan before it goes ahead in July with filling the reservoir behind the giant Nile dam it has been building since 2011. Egypt, which fears disastrous consequences if its vital share of the river’s water is reduced, has protested against Ethiopia’s decision and accused the landlocked Horn of Africa nation of showing contempt for international laws governing the use of transnational rivers.

Both Egypt and Ethiopia wrote to the UN Security Council to blame the other for the failure of nearly a decade of negotiations to produce an agreement on the operation of the dam and the filling of the reservoir.

Sudan, meanwhile, appears to have abandoned at least some of its perceived bias in favour of Ethiopia’s stand on the dispute, joining Egypt last week in turning down an offer by Ethiopia to negotiate an interim agreement to govern the first filling of the reservoir. Its surprise decision coincided with growing voices in Sudan that question the engineering soundness of the dam and warn that much of the country would be flooded if the dam near its border collapsed under pressure.


Egypt also has some misgivings about the safety of the dam and maintains that Ethiopia has not commissioned adequate studies on the possible risks involved.



Ethiopia dam map

Addis Ababa remains adamant on starting the two-year partial filling process and has unleashed a tirade of nationalist rhetoric casting the dam as a national symbol that has united culturally and ethnically diverse Ethiopians. Much of this is thought to be an attempt to pander to voters in an election year and to appeal to their patriotism by rekindling a war of words with Egypt that began after the collapse of US-sponsored negotiations in February.

The standoff is giving rise to speculation whether Egypt will eventually take military action to stop Ethiopia from acting unilaterally, although President Abdel Fatah El Sisi, a former army chief, has stated his preference for a negotiated settlement. He has warned that Egypt would never accept a de facto situation about the Nile water and said the issue is an existential one.



A general view of the construction works at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia. AFP

Egypt’s 100 million people depend on the Nile for more than 90 per cent of their water needs. Any significant reduction in its share of the river's water would put hundreds of thousands out of work and threatens its food security.

“The prevailing spirit in Egypt now is of a combative nature,” wrote analyst Abdel Bari Attwan last week. “Egyptian officials, especially those in the military, are extremely worried. That’s why the next few weeks could witness some fateful and painful decisions because it is not possible, nor should it be, for the Egyptian people to go hungry or see their water security threatened.”

Egypt and Ethiopia do not share a land border, but Cairo has in recent years spent billions of dollars on weapons and hardware that significantly extend its military reach beyond its borders, such as German-made submarines and French sea troop carriers equipped with Russian assault helicopters.

However, any military action by Egypt would be difficult to justify under international law and a negotiated settlement might still be its only option. Cairo says it appreciates Ethiopia’s need for the hydroelectric dam to develop its economy, but wants an agreement that will minimise the impact on its water supply.

Ethiopia has called for negotiations to resume, but Egypt is likely to insist on an agreed timeframe to prevent Addis Ababa from drawing them out while creating facts on the ground. Egypt would also like to see negotiations start from where previous talks left off in February, when it was the only party to approve a draft deal brokered by the US and the World Bank.

Cairo might also settle for an interim agreement on the first filling of the reservoir in July, but with added language outlining what needs to be agreed on in a comprehensive pact.

Specifically, Egypt wants the filling of the reservoir to be staggered over up to seven years, and a joint mechanism to deal with possible future drought. It also wants Ethiopia to release about 46 billion cubic metres of water annually; Ethiopia is reportedly offering much less.

Egypt will be looking to continuing US involvement in any future negotiations, although this may be difficult given the preoccupation of President Donald Trump’s administration with the coronavirus outbreak.

“Egypt remains committed to the need to reach an agreement,” said Hany Raslan, a prominent expert on African affairs from Egypt’s Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies. “The ball is now with Ethiopia, which must realise that the interests of nations must not be messed with.”

 
Egypt the spoiled kid will eventually accept the new reality. It can't get all the waters of the Nile forever and at the same time block any equitable water sharing treaty. They blocked any attempt for a new equitable water sharing agreement for decades now hopping they will always have the colonial ear treaty that will give Egypt and Sudan 90% the waters. Little did they know that we slowly but surely have created new facts on the ground and the starting of the filling of the dam in two months will be another mile stone in creating facts on the ground. This is the only way to force Egypt abandon the unfair colonial treaty and accept a new equitable water sharing agreement which Egypt always blocked. The Ethiopian government is doing well in insisting in starting filling the dam in two months time. Create reality on the ground as fast as possible, that is the only way to throw the obsolete and unfair colonial treaty cancer into history's dustbin.
 

ibn Yahya Al-Sooli

Anti-Qabiilism & Anti-Nationalism
Egypt the spoiled kid will eventually accept the new reality. It can't get all the waters of the Nile forever and at the same time block any equitable water sharing treaty. They blocked any attempt for a new equitable water sharing agreement for decades now hopping they will always have the colonial ear treaty that will give Egypt and Sudan 90% the waters. Little did they know that we slowly but surely have created new facts on the ground and the starting of the filling of the dam in two months will be another mile stone in creating facts on the ground. This is the only way to force Egypt abandon the unfair colonial treaty and accept a new equitable water sharing agreement which Egypt always blocked. The Ethiopian government is doing well in insisting in starting filling the dam in two months time. Create reality on the ground as fast as possible, that is the only way to throw the obsolete and unfair colonial treaty cancer into history's dustbin.
Warya xabashi itoobiya ha burburto
:hahaidiot:
 
Egypt the spoiled kid will eventually accept the new reality. It can't get all the waters of the Nile forever and at the same time block any equitable water sharing treaty. They blocked any attempt for a new equitable water sharing agreement for decades now hopping they will always have the colonial ear treaty that will give Egypt and Sudan 90% the waters. Little did they know that we slowly but surely have created new facts on the ground and the starting of the filling of the dam in two months will be another mile stone in creating facts on the ground. This is the only way to force Egypt abandon the unfair colonial treaty and accept a new equitable water-sharing agreement which Egypt always blocked. The Ethiopian government is doing well in insisting in starting filling the dam in two months time. Create reality on the ground as fast as possible, that is the only way to throw the obsolete and unfair colonial treaty cancer into history's dustbin.
The old colonial treaty was unfair no question about that. However, Ethiopia was the one that refused to sign the new treaty back in May. Egypt wants the filling of the reservoir to be staggered over up to seven years. if Ethiopia filled the dam over seven years Egypt would only lose 14% in water supply and 18% percent of its farmland. Alternatively, if Ethiopia were to fill the dam in three years(Ethiopia's plan) Egypt's water supply would decrease by 55% and see 70% reduction in its agriculture area. If you still think the 3 years plan is fair than idk what to tell you lmao. Even Sudan who was previously was siding with Ethiopia are now seeing Ethiopian's childless games. And they're demanding Ethiopian to come back to the table.

In the eyes of international law, Ethiopia can not start filling without coming to an agreement with both Egpyt and Sudan. If they do, however, they will get heavily sanctioned at best. Or/and Egpyt will declare war on Ethiopia. In both cases, Ethiopia as it is today will cease to exist. If they dont stop these childish/dangerous games.
 
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July is a good time to start filling because floods in central Sudan get very bad at that time. That being said I cringe when Ethiopians act like they can easily take down Egypt. They might not be Russia but they are very developed/organized for African standards and can easily win a war.
 

ibn Yahya Al-Sooli

Anti-Qabiilism & Anti-Nationalism
July is a good time to start filling because floods in central Sudan get very bad at that time. That being said I cringe when Ethiopians act like they can easily take down Egypt. They might not be Russia but they are very developed/organized for African standards and can easily win a war.
Itoobiya is barely holding together all it’s different ethnicities and can collapse into a civil war at any moment. They’re nuts if they think they can go to war with Egypt. They would get smoked
:mjlol::lolbron:
 

sincity

develop | Ishaaqi | أرض الصومال أولاً
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Itoobiya is barely holding together all it’s different ethnicities and can collapse into a civil war at any moment. They’re nuts if they think they can go to war with Egypt. They would get smoked
:mjlol::lolbron:
People like you have been praying for Ethiopia's collapse for your entire lives. :drakekidding:
 

psyche

To each their own
July is a good time to start filling because floods in central Sudan get very bad at that time. That being said I cringe when Ethiopians act like they can easily take down Egypt. They might not be Russia but they are very developed/organized for African standards and can easily win a war.
There will be no official war. Warfare is extremely frowned upon by the international community ever since the formation of the UN and it's basically a lose-lose situation for both sides.

At best you can expect some conflicts but that will amount to nothing. It seems like Ethiopia is has the ball in their court.
 
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Watered down dhegcas and xaarbeshas will smoke each other:lolbron:
We all know Ethiopia will fall into ethnic conflict, it's a ticking bomb:manny:
 

Jimmer

We Move
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Africans who? Pakistan is Egypt ally and many more they can easily wipe all Sub Saharan Africans from the map.
We'll see sxb. The African Union is headquartered in Addis. Egypt can't touch Ethiopia. All the madows will rally for them.

I doubt it gets to that point. Egypt has been relying on an old colonial agreement that maintained their Nile water supply. If anything Ethiopia is going to demand money to make the problem go away.
 
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