Government responds to Egypt “Dam is a matter of life or death”

Renaissance Dam is a ” matter of life or death” for Ethiopia too, government

Ethiopia - Dam -
File / Reuters

Ethiopian News
borkena
November 24,2017

In what seem to be a clear response to Egyptian president Abdul Fetah Al-Sisi’s warning to Ethiopia over the construction of mega dam over the Nile, Ethiopia is responding that the dam is a “matter of life or death” too.

Ethiopian Foreign Affairs ministry spokesperson, Meles Alem, told journalists on Thursday at a press conference in Addis Ababa that “Ethiopia is firm on its position of equitable use of the Nile’s water,” according to Chinese news source Xinhua.

Despite no agreement is reached over impact study during the latest round of talk in Cairo , Ethiopian Foreign Affairs ministry is quoted as saying, by The Associated Press, that “Ethiopia will continue to work with Sudan and Egypt for a fair and equitable use of the Nile water.”

Authorities in Ethiopia say that the project along the Sudan border is 60 % completed. The US $5 billion Dam project is going to be the largest in Africa. The government sold thousand Renaissance Dam bond shares for citizens and investors alike. Analysts say dam is both an economic and political project which the government has propagated as one of its achievements. In fact, government propaganda painted it as a measures of “foresight and invincibility” of the late Meles Zenawi.

Sudan and Ethiopia are on the same page regarding the construction of the dam but Sudan accuses Egypt of using Sudan’s share of the Nile water after failure of Cairo talk.

The intention of Egypt is for riparian countries to stick to agreements signed during colonial time. Ethiopia, from which more than eighty percent of the Nile water originates, is not signatory to agreement signed in 1929 and 1959.

Egypt has briefed the US administration about the failure of Cairo talk to assess the impacts of the mega dam and then Abdul Fetah al-Sisi appeared on Television to say that water is a matter of National Security. Politicians and academics are alarmed by the project and the dominant view is that the dam will reduce the flow of water to Egypt.
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