Home Actualité internationale CM – Ethiopia begins the second phase of filling the mega-dam and upset Egypt
Actualité internationale

CM – Ethiopia begins the second phase of filling the mega-dam and upset Egypt

Ethiopia says it has begun the next phase of filling a controversial mega-dam on the Nile, Egyptian authorities said on Monday, adding to tensions ahead of an upcoming UN Security Council on the matter.

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July 6, 2021

Ethiopia says it has begun the next phase of filling a controversial mega-dam on the Nile, Egyptian authorities said on Monday, adding to tensions ahead of an upcoming UN Security Council on the matter.

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Egypt said the move was « a violation of international laws and standards that regulate projects being built on the common basins of international rivers, » and had expressed its « firm opposition to this unilateral move, » its irrigation ministry said on late Monday.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which will be the largest hydroelectric power station in Africa when completed, is the source of a longstanding diplomatic standoff between Addis Ababa and the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan.

Ethiopia says the project is vital to its development, but Egypt and Sudan fear it could restrict their citizens’ access to water.

Both nations have pushed Addis Ababa to a binding agreement on filling and operating of the dam, and in recent weeks asked the UN Security Council to look into the matter ince to deal.

The meeting on Thursday was requested by Tunisia on behalf of Egypt and the Sudan, told a diplomatic source told AFP.

But France’s UN ambassador said last week that the Council can do even little , except to bring the sides together.

Addis Ababa had previously announced that it would move into the second phase of filling in July, with or without a deal.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in a statement to the UN that the negotiations would be in a dead end, and accused Ethiopia of « pursuing a policy of intransigence that undermines our common efforts to reach an agreement. »

The Nile – at around 6,000 kilometers one of the longest rivers in the world – is an important water- and a power source for dozens of countries in East Africa.

Egypt, which relies on the Nile for around 97 percent of its irrigation and drinking water supplies, sees the dam as an existential threat.

Sudan hopes that the Pr ojekt will regulate the annual floods but fears its dams could be damaged without an agreement on its operation.

Ethiopia broke ground for the 145 meter high dam in 2011 and said it was its first target last year in the years of filling the dam.

© 2021 AFP

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