Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia at an Impasse
Egypt withdrew from the Nile dam talks scheduled today with Ethiopia claiming that the proposal put forth by the nation lacked regulations on dam operations and any legal mechanism for settling disputes. Sudan also threatened to step out in rejection of the idea of sharing Bule Nile waters. Both nations have demanded that talks be suspended for internal consultations on the proposal terms, which goes against the previous agreement during the African Union summit.
Egypt and Sudan invoke a “historic right” over the river put in place by treaties established in 1929 and 1959.
Ethiopia, on the other hand, refers to a treaty signed in 2010 – boycotted by Egypt and Sudan, but signed by six riverside countries which authorised irrigation projects and dams on the river.
The call came after a meeting of technical and legal committees from the three countries aimed at pushing for a deal on the filling and operation of the GERD.
The meeting was also attended by observers from the United States and the European Union as well as experts from the African Union.
Tears for some and Celebrations for Others
Hence, this Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has the three countries at an impasse – with Ethiopia being the only nation celebrating the filling of the dam as a huge historical milestone and looking excitedly towards the future of its national energy production and electrification development.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali believes that independently reaching this milestone in spite of naysayers, makes this moment all the more historic.
The dam’s reservoir has been filled with 4.9 billion cubic metres of water, which enables Ethiopia to test its first two turbines within its electrification and development plan.