Ethiopia says ‘aggression’ over Nile dam dispute ‘unproductive’

The Grand Renaissance Dam under construction near the Sudanese-Ethiopia border. (File photo: AFP)

Ethiopia said on Saturday that threats of any kind towards resolving a dispute with its neighbors over the filling and operation of a massive hydropower dam were “misguided, unproductive and clear violations of international law”.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office made no mention of any person or any country in a statement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is at the centre of a dispute over Nile water supplies.

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But his comment came hours after US President Donald Trump held a phone call with the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in which they called for an amicable solution between Ethiopia and Egypt.

In the call, held in front of reporters at the White House, Trump said he had also told Egypt the same thing, saying it was a dangerous situation and that Cairo could end up “blowing up that dam.”

Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have been locked in a bitter dispute over the filling and operation of the GERD, which remains unresolved although the reservoir behind the dam began filling in July.

“Occasional statements of belligerent threats to have Ethiopia succumb to unfair terms still abound,” Abiy’s office said.

“These threats and affronts to Ethiopian sovereignty are misguided, unproductive, and clear violations of international law.”

The first phase of filling the dam completed in August, Abiy’s office said.

Water flows through Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Ethiopia. (File photo: Reuters)

Water flows through Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Ethiopia. (File photo: Reuters)

Egypt says it is dependent on the Nile for more than 90 percent of its scarce fresh water supplies and fears the dam could have a devastating effect on its economy.

Trump said on Friday said he had brokered an agreement to resolve the issue but that Ethiopia had broken the pact, forcing him to cut funds.

Abiy’s office said there was significant progress made in resolving the dispute since the African Union took over the negotiations.

“Ethiopia will not cave into aggressions of any kind, nor do we give recognition to a right that is based on colonial treaties,” it said.

Read more:

US, Sudan press for amicable solution over Ethiopia dam dispute

Ethiopia bans flights over controversial dam for security reasons: Aviation chief

Efforts to reach Nile dam joint unified deal ‘at standstill’: Sudan

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Last Update: Saturday, 24 October 2020 KSA 11:53 - GMT 08:53
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