Ethiopia's Grand Reniassance Dam Source Reuters Ethiopia's Grand Reniassance Dam Source Reuters

Expected Egypt, Ethiopia tension over water share: US report

Sat, May. 13, 2017
CAIRO - 13 May 2017: Heightened disputes are likely to happen between Egypt and Ethiopia over shared water resources as Ethiopia plans to begin filling the reservoir of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile in 2017, the U.S. intelligence Community said on Thursday in its first report on worldwide threat assessment under the Trump administration.

Egypt, which gets a share of 55 billion square meters of water from the Nile, expressed its concerns over the construction of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam, which could negatively affect Egypt’s share of Nile water.

The construction of the dam which began in 2011 strained relations between Egypt and Ethiopia; however, Ethiopia pressed ahead with the construction of the dam, which is now more than halfway done, despite strong Egyptian opposition and plans to start filling the reservoir in 2017.

In December 2015, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed a declaration of principles in Khartoum, an agreement that emphasized the principles of cooperation, development, regional integration and mitigating significant damage.

The US Intelligence report on worldwide threats also tackled the cyber-attacks threats, noting Russia’s “highly advanced offensive cyber program” which was evident in the Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US election, as well as China’s and Iran’s cyber attacks targeting US and its allies and North Korea's cyber-attacks against “US commercial entities”, specifically, Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014.

The report highlighted Iran as “the foremost state sponsor of terrorism”, alongside the Lebanese Hizballah, both whom poses threats to the US, and surely the report didn’t overlook the Islamic State (ISIS) as an active terrorism threat.

On Friday, a massive ransomware cyber-attack hit nearly 100 countries, with Egypt being among the top 20 countries affected by the attack. The cyber-attack has infected thousands of computers worldwide, including the National Health Service (NHS), Britain’s health system, and the global shipper FedEX.

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