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Egypt says Ethiopia will violate international law by filling Nile reservoir

July 6, 2021 at 12:57 pm

A general view of the Blue Nile river as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia, on December 26, 2019 [EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images]

Ethiopia has officially notified Egypt of the start of the second filling of the reservoir behind the Grand Renaissance Ethiopian Dam, the Ministry of Irrigation announced yesterday. In response, ministry spokesperson Mohamed Ghanem said that, “Addis Ababa is violating international laws and norms, and is treating the River Nile as its own property.”

Ghanem added that Ethiopia is taking unilateral steps without considering the interests of the downstream countries and the limits that the dam will impose. “There must be an agreement governing cooperation between the three parties.”

The Egyptian official warned that Ethiopia is exacerbating tension and endangering security and peace in the region. “The whole world clearly witnesses how Egypt seeks to reach a just and binding legal agreement to operate the dam.”

The UN Security Council is due to convene on Thursday to discuss the matter.

Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia have long been in a dispute over the construction of the dam, which Addis Ababa says will boost its economic development and generation of electricity. Cairo and Khartoum have repeatedly called for a joint agreement before the filling of the dam’s reservoir.

READ: Egypt, Sudan foreign ministers coordinate position on Ethiopia dam