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Ethiopia rejects Arab League's 'unwanted' intervention in dam crisis

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

Ethiopia today rejected what it described as "the unwelcome interference" by the Arab League in the Renaissance Dam crisis.

The country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the statement in response to a letter sent by the Arab League to the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council in which it supported the positions of Egypt and Sudan regarding the dam crisis.

Yesterday the Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen, sent a letter to the Security Council president in which he expressed Ethiopia's disappointment with the Arab League for addressing the United Nations regarding an issue that does not fall within its scope.

Ethiopia is in the process of filling its $5 billion Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) near the border with Sudan, which it says will provide the country with much-needed electricity and economic regeneration. Egypt believes it will restrict its access to Nile waters.

READ: Ethiopia rejects Sudan's request to take Nile Dam issue to UN

Egypt is almost entirely dependent on Nile water, receiving around 55.5 million cubic metres a year from the river, and believes that filling the dam will affect the water it needs for drinking, agriculture, and electricity.

Cairo wants Ethiopia to guarantee Egypt will receive 40 billion cubic metres or more of water from the Nile. Ethiopian Irrigation Minister Bekele said Egypt has abandoned this demand, but Egypt insists it hasn't and issued a statement to this effect.

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AfricaArab LeagueEgyptEthiopiaInternational OrganisationsNewsSudanUN
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