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Ethiopia rejects Egypt's demand to guarantee its water allocation of the River Nile

The Bloomberg website reported on Wednesday that during tripartite negotiations between Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa in Khartoum, Ethiopia refused to guarantee Egypt's water allocation from the River Nile.

Ethiopia has begun building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on Ethiopia's Blue Nile, the main tributary of the Nile. The dam is set to be completed in 2017. The issue of the dam raised concerns in Cairo as it will affect Egypt portion of the water from the Nile.

Head of the Ethiopian Water and Energy Ministry's Boundary and Trans-boundary Rivers Affairs Directorate, Fekahmed Negash said, "During the Khartoum meeting, Egyptian officials introduced a principle that demanded that Ethiopia respect water security in Sudan and Egypt."

He continued, "Discussing this issue would oppose the agreement signed by the Nile Basin countries."

Speaking from Addis Ababa, Fekahmed said, "We will not negotiate on this issue with any country. That is why we say take it to the right platform" which includes other members of the Nile Basin. He said that the Egyptian envoy refused to set a date for a new meeting on the issue.

Speaking about the dam, the head of Ethiopia's technical team in Khartoum Gideon Asfaw said, "There is nothing that will stop it [the dam]."

Bloomberg reported Ethiopian Water and Energy Minister, Alemayehu Tegenu, as saying that Ethiopia rejected an Egyptian suggestion to immediately form a panel of neutral experts to adjudicate any disputes arising from planned studies of the dam's hydrological and environmental impact.

Alemayehu also said that experts could be hired if they were needed.

Source: FJP

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