Fair agreement on Ethiopian Dam spares region conflict: Egyptian Speaker



Sun, 11 Jul 2021 - 12:25 GMT


Sun, 11 Jul 2021 - 12:25 GMT

FILE - Speaker of the House of Representatives Hanafy al-Gebali

FILE - Speaker of the House of Representatives Hanafy al-Gebali

CAIRO – 11 July 2021: Speaker of the House of Representatives Hanafy al-Gebali highlighted in the plenary session Sunday that the Nile River is the source of life in Egypt, and that concluding a fair agreement spares the region conflict.


Gebali underscored that Ethiopia's unjustifiable behavior threatens Egypt's water security noting that Egypt has never been an aggressor rather it only defends its rights. "We have confidence that we will overcome that challenge and achieve a new victory," the Speaker said.


The dispute among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia dates back to May 2011 when Ethiopia started building the dam; Egypt voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters].


Three years later, a series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan began to reach an agreement, while Ethiopia continued the dam construction.


In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam.


In October 2019, Egypt blamed Addis Ababa for hindering a final agreement concerning a technical problem, calling for activating Article No. 10 of the Declaration of Principles, which stipulates that if the three countries could not find a solution to these disputes, they have to ask for mediation.


Washington had brokered tripartite negotiations among the three countries, in the presence of the President of the World Bank (WB) starting from November 6, 2019 until February 27 and 28, 2020.


During these rounds of talks, tangible outcomes were agreed on among the three parties concerning the rules and mechanism of operating the dam and the filling process of the reservoir during the drought and prolonged drought; however, an agreement was not sealed.


Constructions in the Grand Renaissance Dam started on April 2, 2011 at a cost of $4.8 billion. It was built by the Italian construction and engineering company Salini Impergilo. The Italian company is headquartered in Milan. The dam is located on the Blue Nile with a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and is expected to generate up to 6,000 megawatts of power.


On July 5, Ethiopia officially informed Egypt and Sudan that the second filling has begun, which is not expected to exceed four billion cubic meters, as indicated by experts.


The first filling was carried out in 2020 with 4.9 billion cubic meters, and there was an intention to do the second filling with 13.5 billion cubic meters but that is not possible for technical reasons



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