End in sight
As the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is approaching, Ethiopia is maintaining its stance focusing on sharing the water of the Nile equitably. However, Cairo has ratcheted up the outdated principle of historical rights, which has been rejected by Ethiopia, repetitively.
Even though the Egyptians are trying to take the case to different international organizations including the UN Security Council, Ethiopia’s stance to the concept of cooperation than confrontation has remained intact. Ethiopian officials are still willing to discuss over the matter amicably, though Egypt has failed to comply.
In this regard, Gedu Andargachew, Minister of Foreign Affairs, earlier this week reaffirmed Ethiopia’s stand and slammed the Egyptian side for their repetitive sluggishness in the ongoing negotiation. He said Ethiopia, as usual, still has the conviction that issues regarding the GERD could be resolved through dialogue and called on the Egyptian side to stick to the negotiations that are underway.
“Ethiopia will have nothing left with Egypt unless the Declaration of Principles (DoP) is respected, and no reason will be left on the ground if its negotiators boycott the talks that are underway,” Gedu highlighted.
The Minister further said, although Egypt contributes nothing to the water of the Nile River, it still clings to the colonial-day water treaties that does not give recognition to either Ethiopia’s or the other riparian countries’ natural right to utilize their water resources.
He said that Ethiopia is participating in the tripartite talks taking the accepted principles of ‘cooperation’ and ‘causing no significant harm’ as guiding principles in addition to recognizing its rights to equitably and reasonably utilize its water resources.
In addition, Gedu also stated that Egypt is dragging its foot in the tripartite talks while attempting to take the GERD case to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which does not go in line with the spirit of the DoP.
Egypt’s claims over shortage of water are groundless because the power production over the dam is inextricably linked with water flow into turbines towards downstream countries, Gedu underlined.
In a related news, Ethiopians at home and across the globe are standing in solidarity against the bias remarks made by the White House National Security Council (NSC) regarding the negotiations over the GERD.
In its Twitter post, NSC said: “257 million people in east Africa are relying on Ethiopia to show strong leadership, which means striking a fair deal. Technical issues have been resolved time to get the GERD deal done before filling it with Nile River water.”
This statement, has since triggered an avalanche of response from Ethiopians defending the interests of the country, under the #it’s my dam, conveying a clear message to Egyptians that irrespective of internal political rifts, Ethiopians stand together whenever it comes to the nations sovereignty.