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    Ethiopia says it will proceed with second filling of Blue Nile dam despite lack of agreement

    The Ethiopian government has assured that it intends to proceed with the second filling of the dam reservoir it is building on the Blue Nile River despite the fact that the latest round of trilateral talks with Egypt and Sudan were closed on Tuesday without agreement, amid the stalemate in the process over the past few months.

    The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry has stressed in a statement that “the filling of the second year of the dam will be carried out according to schedule” and said it has shown its readiness “to provide data and exchange information” on the process.

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    In this regard, the Ministry stressed in their statement, published through their account on the social network Facebook, that “Ethiopia cannot enter into an agreement that closes its current and future rights over the use of the Nile,” the epicenter of a diplomatic dispute for years because of the hydroelectric project.

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    The Ministry further argued that its delegation approved the draft presented by the African Union (AU), which is mediating, with “minimal adjustments” and added that “Egypt and Sudan rejected the draft claiming that the observers replace the three countries and the AU”.

    The Government of Sudan has called for a measurement by the United Nations, the European Union (EU), the AU and the United States over the dam, an option supported by Egypt but rejected by Ethiopia, which argues that the current process of trilateral talks should be sufficient to ensure the success of the negotiations.

    After the last meeting, the Sudanese authorities have denounced that Addis Ababa has rejected all the mediation options presented by Khartoum and warned of the danger posed by Ethiopia’s “unilateral measures”, in reference to the process of filling the dam.

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    The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Samé Shukri, revealed that Cairo and Khartoum will go to the UN Security Council to address the situation and stressed that “there is total coordination and unity” between the two countries on this issue.

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    “We will start going to international organizations to report the events and ask them to assume their responsibility”, Shukri defended, in declarations granted to the Egyptian television channel Extra News, as reported by the daily ‘Al Ahram‘.

    He also criticized the Ethiopian authorities for their “intransigence” and said that the latest talks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – which holds the rotating presidency of the AU – have demonstrated the “lack of political will” on the part of Addis Ababa.

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    The governments of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan reached a preliminary agreement in January 2020 on the main points of dispute over the construction of the dam and pledged to sign the final document by the end of February, although Addis Ababa walked out of the talks before signing the agreement, but only Cairo did. 

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    The reason of Ethiopia’s walked out from the agreement is U.S. “characterization that the negotiation on the Guidelines and Rules on the First Filing and Annual Operation of the GERD (Guidelines and Rules) is completed.” And Ethiopia said the text of the draft agreement reportedly initialed by Egypt was “not the outcome of the negotiation”

    Ethiopia, which is single-handedly financing the project and hopes to become the continent’s largest generator and exporter of electricity, rejects these accusations. Work is being carried out in the Benishangul-Gumaz region and, when completed, the dam will be the largest on the continent.

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    Bazezew Zerihun
    Bazezew Zerihun
    Bazezew Zerihun is the Founder, CEO & EDITOR IN CHIEF of Awutar. He lives in Bole, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. By profession, he is Blogger, Content Writer, Web Designer, and Developer. If you want to get in touch with him write via: [email protected]


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