US calls for calm discussion over GERD
In an unprecedented turn of events, US government asks Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to overcome their difference over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and try to find a solution to the Nile issue, The Reporter has learnt.
In a statement issued by the Whitehouse Press Secretary, US called up on the three nations to respect each other’s Nile water “equities”.
“The United States supports Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan’s ongoing negotiations to reach a cooperative, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam,” reads the statement.
“All Nile Valley countries have a right to economic development and prosperity. The Administration calls on all sides to put forth good faith efforts to reach an agreement that preserves those rights, while simultaneously respecting each other’s Nile water equities,” adds the statement.
The latest intervention from the US came just days after, Egypt’s calls for the international community to intervene over the matter.
It can be recalled that the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) accused Ethiopia of holding the negotiation process.
“For Egypt, the water of the Nile is a matter of life. It is an existential matter and this places a great responsibility on the international community to play a constructive role in urging all parties to demonstrate flexibility in order to achieve a mutually satisfactory agreement,” said El-Sisi.
The drama over GERD escalated following Egypt’s recent proposal on the filling and operation of the dam which Ethiopia rejected.
“The proposal from Egypt was unilaterally decided and the proposal didn’t consider our previous agreements,” said Sileshi Bekele, minister for water, irrigation, and energy.
“An Egyptian expert can’t control our dam,” he said and described the Egyptian plan as a potential violation of Ethiopia’s sovereignty.
The construction of the ambitious dam began back in 2011. Upon completion, the dam is expected to generate more than 6,000 megawatts of electric power.
As of August 2019, the whole project has reached 68.3 % of completion. Moreover, the early generation of the dam will start in 2020.