Tag Archives: Ethiopia resists Egypt’s ambitions

Grand Nile compromise—a Sisyphean task?

22 Mar

Egypt and Ethiopia are unlikely to strike terms over GERD without agreeing a new legal framework governing the Nile Basin (Credit: Ethiopia Insight)

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

By Ethiopia Insight

Egypt and Ethiopia are unlikely to strike terms over GERD without agreeing a new legal framework governing the Nile Basin

Disagreement over the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has sparked new tensions between Ethiopia and Egypt, with some even warning of an African water war.

Ethiopia recently rejected Egypt’s proposal on the filling and operation of the GERD. In a growing diplomatic spat, Egypt warned Ethiopia not to move forward with the filling and operation of GERD, saying that it “will have negative consequences for the stability in the region.”

Egypt also said the GERD negotiations have reached a deadlock, calling for international interventions to overcome the impasse. Ethiopia, on the other hand, “accused Egypt of trying to maintain its [colonial era] grip over the waters of [the] Nile,” and dismissed Cairo’s call for international mediation.

Although disguised in talks over filling and operation of GERD, the current tension between the two countries is mainly related to their longstanding dispute over the validity of the colonial and 1959 agreements [the ‘Nile Water Agreements’].

Cairo wants Ethiopia to guarantee the supplies allocated to it under the Nile Water Agreements and to ensure adequate water for Egyptian power generation and irrigation. But Ethiopia has long rejected the validity of these Agreements. Addis Ababa also fears that accepting the Egyptian demand will put “ GERD hostage to High Aswan Dam [HAD]”, the Egyptian facility completed in 1970.

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