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Egypt tycoon questions if Ethiopia has truly completed filling dam's reservoir

September 11, 2023 at 2:40 pm

A view of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a massive hydropower plant on the River Nile that neighbors Sudan and Egypt, as the dam started to produce electricity generation in Benishangul-Gumuz, Ethiopia on February 19, 2022 [Minasse Wondimu Hailu – Anadolu Agency]

Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris mocked Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s announcement that his country had completed the fourth and final filling of the Renaissance Dam reservoir.

Sawiris said in a post on the X (formerly Twitter): “I wonder if there is a fifth filling… or you’ve choked on water already.”

Sawiris’ sarcastic post sparked reactions among his followers, who lamented the unpleasant reality that Egypt has reached regarding the Renaissance Dam issue.

Activists said that Abiy Ahmed’s announcement that the fourth filling is the last may be followed by a retraction, and that a fifth may cause greater harm to Egypt.

Abiy Ahmed said that the fourth filling was accompanied by internal challenges and external pressures, adding: “We have overcome all these matters, and became able to reach this stage.”

He called on “all Ethiopians to continue their support until the dam is completed,” according to the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA).

The Egyptian government announced on 29 August that the round of negotiations hosted by Cairo with the aim of reaching an agreement on the rules for filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), “did not witness tangible changes in the positions of the Ethiopian side.” Negotiating delegations from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia participated in the negotiations.

READ: Ethiopia says it has completed filling of disputed dam projects reservoir