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Ethiopia's claims about dam construction 'media show': Egypt official

Egypt and Ethiopia remain deadlocked over construction of a major dam on the Blue Nile

Ahram Online, Wednesday 8 Jan 2014
Ethiopia
Water gushes out from pipes by the construction of Ethiopia's Great Renaissance Dam in Guba Woreda, some 40 km (25 miles) from Ethiopia's border with Sudan, June 28, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
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The Egyptian government has "alternative routes" in dealing with a major hydroelectric dam being constructed in Ethiopia, a spokesman for the Egyptian irrigation ministry said on Wednesday following a recent meeting between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan that was deemed a deadlock.

Spokesman Khaled Waseef said, in a press statement reported by MENA, that the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam faces financial as well as technical problems, and that the Ethiopian government's statements that the project has been 30 percent completed are a "media show" for its own political gains.   

Waseef added that the construction levels of the dam are "extremely low" and that the project's generator has "not even one brick [in place]."

He stated that the negotiations with Ethiopia will not resume until Ethiopia changes its position and "applies international standards" while constructing the dam. He said there are imminent dangers for Egypt if the dam continued to be built as planned, which is something "Egypt would never accept."

The Egyptian National Defence Council, which comprises several ministers including the defence minister, the interior minister, the foreign affairs minister, the minister of militiary production, the finance minister and senior army commanders, met on Wednesday to discuss the potential impacts of the dam. President Adly Mansour and Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Moteleb attended the meeting. 

The planned Grand Renaissance Dam is a $4.2 billion hydro-electric dam on the Blue Nile, one of the main tributaries of the Nile. The project has been a source of concern for the Egyptian government since May last year, when images of the dam's construction stirred public anxiety about possible effects on Egypt's share of the Nile water, the country's  main source of potable water.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan formed a tripartite technical committee to study the possible effects of the dam and try to generate consensus. Ethiopia maintains that Egypt's water share will not be negatively affected by the successful completion of the project.

In recent meetings in Khartoum, the tripartite committee was scheduled to formulate a document that entails "confidence building measures" between the countries, and also to form a special international conflict-resolution committee. Both plans failed as Egypt and Ethiopia refused to see eye-to-eye.

According to a statement released by Egyptian authorities on Sunday, Ethiopia insisted on special conditions to an international conflict resolution committee that Egypt believes "would deplete it from its original purpose of being an impartial moderator between the three countries."

In June, Ethiopia's parliament ratified an international treaty, which Egypt opposes, allowing upstream countries to implement irrigation and hydropower projects without first seeking Egypt's approval.

The deal replaces colonial-era agreements that grant Egypt and Sudan the majority of Nile river water rights.

 

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44



dere
10-04-2014 02:03pm
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We are talking about natural right but Egyptian are talking about colonial era historical right
We are talking about natural right but Egyptian are talking about colonial era historical right.by any aspect we have natural right to use our river(Abay) but Egypt may use after we use or the remaining part ....this is fact and natural how can you do??????
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43



Habtezion Ghermai
26-01-2014 06:21am
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WHO ENTITLED THE OWNERSHIP
Both countries are donation recipients,repressive governments,overpopulated and propping,cuddling by the USA. I was wandering which country they will support or makes them fight against each other like Southern Sudan. Africans are you not capable and intelligent enough to solve your own problems.
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42



Solomon A
14-01-2014 12:10pm
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The renaisance dam in Ethiopia
The Ethiopian renaisance dam is continuing in a good condition technically and financially as well,this rumur and talk from Egyptians leaders has ovious,nd fear.
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41



Abnet
12-01-2014 06:49pm
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Ethiopia's claims about dam construction 'media show?
Ethiopia's claims about dam construction 'media show?Why are you kidding your self?pls wakeup and do face the reality.Don't cheat your people Mr Khaled Waseef
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40



Wakjira
12-01-2014 06:52am
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Common sense prevail
It is a time for Ethiopia to decide for herself. Egyptian politicians or activists has to stop to think the unthinkable and govern for the common sense. Learn a lesson from Sudan
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39



AZMACH
11-01-2014 07:18pm
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BLUE NILE
WE CAN BUILD THE DAM.NO ONE STOP US.SO,YOU EGYPTIAN WHY DID YOU WASTE YOUR TIME BY PROPOGANDA. WE ETHIOPIANS DO ANY THING THAT WE WANT TO DO. REFER HISTORY BEFORE SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT ETHIOPIA.
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38



Million B. Woldegebriel
11-01-2014 01:19am
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Egypt will not be affected
The flow of Blue Nile varies. It is high in the rainy season and low during the dry season. The Dam will be filled during the rainy reason. Except during the filling time the amount of water that flows down to Sudan and Egypt will not be the reduced. The water that turns the turban to generate electricity will in the end not be reduced. Then why the noise from Cairo? Another important point that I do not see mentioned is about the fact of the amount of water that flows into the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt should use for irrigation the gallons of water that flows unused into the Mediterranean, before making all the fuss she is making
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37



Caleb
10-01-2014 10:50pm
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The problem with Ethiopia.
No dam in the world will help Ethiopia out of her poverty, because Ethiopia's poverty is not because of lack of water resources. Ethiopia gets monsoon-like rains 3 months out of the year, June to September. Ethiopia has on one of the most fertile lands in Africa and has DOZENS of rivers and lakes. On the other hand Egypt has barely any rain, and only ONE river in a country that is almost 100% desert. Yet Egypt managed to build an amazing civilization 6 thousand years ago from this ONE river, a civilization that the world is still in awe off . In modern times, Egypt, with the same population as Ethiopia, BUT is able to feed her population. Yet, despite all the water and fertile land, Ethiopia is land of famine and feeding centers, a land completely dependent on the world to feed her citizens,, always begging the west for food. So what do the Ethiopians plan to do? To understand Ethiopia, you have to understand that ethiopia is completely dominated by the miniority tribes of the north-the amhara and tigray. Instead of trying to reform their political system and culture, and properly managing all their other rivers and lakes and ample rainfall, the Ethiopian ruling tribes , ie. the Amhara and Tigray , decided to deny Egypt her ONE and ONLY source of water by building a dam on the blue nile. Why? because these two tribes blame Egypt for their own failures, these failures that are the real root cause of hunger in Ethiopia. They blame Egypt for "stealing their water" as if it was Egyptians who purposefully design and build the river to flow to Egypt? Or was it geography and nature? How is it that all the other nile and african countries don't such as Uganda and Tanzania suffer the same type chronic food shortage as Ethiopia does? Also, what drives the amare/ tigray in their policy to the Nile is a culture of xenophobia and totalitarianism beyond belief. Their political culture is based xenophobia and domination, which is why there are constant rebellions in they country again them by the other oppressed and exploited tribes. They are used to stealing other peoples resources. Ask the other tribes of Ethiopia and they will tell you how the Amara and tigray cooperate to steal their land, their crops, suppress their culture, imprison their youth. Their economic system is a mad one-No one is allowed to own land in Ethiopia-imagine that! only the tigray/amara dominated state does. The economy is based on the state extracting the wealth of the oppressed tribes of the south-coffee, chat, gold, cattle, leather. Their economy is closed and mismanaged, because their ruling party does not want a free economy their tribe can not control. Even the dam is being built on land that was stolen from one of the most oppressed people in Ethiopia in Beni Shangul Gumuz. Yet, with all their stupid economic policies, they still manage to blame Egypt for their failed poverty economy.
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Fred H USA
10-02-2014 10:37am
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The problem with Ethiopia
Caleb you seem to support the idea that Egypt is within their right to expect all the water from the blue Nile. Yet you think that Ethiopia, where all the water comes from has no rights to it. You forget the most basic laws of nature. " possession is 9 tenths of the law". Ethiopia has the water. It fell on there land and they are certainly well with in their rights to use it as they see fit. For all you who talk of military action by Egypt as a solution. Remember one thing. America would not stand by and let Egypt use air power to take out a dam. The American people would demand our government not only stop any air strikes. Butt we would all
Aman
23-01-2014 08:25am
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Good lesson
Caleb, Caleb!!! I don't want to waste my time to reply to your points. But I want to make this one. I am not sure if you are an Egyptian. If you are, then you have learnt a good lesson from your colonial masters - devide and rule! Congratulations! But let me assure you that no matter what differences Ethiopians have, they act as one when it comes to their country, and you know this from History.
Caleb
12-01-2014 08:21pm
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Ethiopia exposed
"And", you don't like the fact that your horrendous domestic politics has been exposed? too bad. And yes, it is related to the Nile issue, because your horrible domestic situation is a reflection of the xenophobic, exploitive and destructive state controlled by the tigray/amara tribes. How can Egypt negotiated with such a state that is used to exploiting and stealing? - state that extracts by force for it's benefit the wealth of the southern tribes-their land, their coffee, their gold, their leather, cattle, Qat? You talk about growing up listening about the nile dam-really? In what language? Amara right?
ShakingMyHead
12-01-2014 04:19pm
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And...
Your points and arguments are not only flawed but wrong in most cases. Let say I agree with you in every point you made - and my question to you is: So What? We are building the Dam and What In The Heck You Going To Do About IT?!? Ethiopian domestic issues has nothing to do with Egypt - And every government of Ethiopia since way back in the day wanted to build the NIle Dam! King Selasie I broke up the Orthodox Church from Egypt's in 1950"s because of Nile. Read History before you spit out hate in Ethiopia's domestic issues - better yet, please don't confuse the Nile with domestic issues because I'll tell you this that all that was born and raised in Ethiopia grow up listening to NIle songs and our aspiration to build it for Hydro so this show you where the whole Ethiopia stands by NIle.
LM
12-01-2014 02:39am
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And another...
And another wash, rinse, repeat comment from you Caleb. Ah yes, just what Africa, let alone, Ethiopia needs, more petty tribalism. While you continue to shine the shoes of Egyptians who hate black people. Black Africans upstream are pushing forward. Tell me,what do you hope to get from being a lapdog? Crumbs? Don't direct your sense of low self-esteem toward Ethiopians who want something better for their futures.
More
Million
12-01-2014 12:40am
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I'm an OROMO
Celeb, my Arab friend from the north:
36



Andualem A
10-01-2014 03:51pm
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"Chew the fat!"
I have been reading a number of articles which state how the Egyptian are think of Nile. Even if it qite seldom to find a word to express the arrogant side of Egyptian politicians. Yet i couldn't find any. That why I am giving a title "chew the fat!" For any case if Egyptians are ready to realize the consent and internationals will in fairness, they had better to refer more on the following; 1. Doctrine of Absolute Sovereignty, 2. Theory of absolute territorial integrity, 3. Doctrine of equitable reasonable utilization, 4. Obligation not to cause significant harm, 5. Theory of equitable distribution of resources, 6. Principle of cooperation, and information exchange, and many other theories. all these and others are referring to how to take the rational stand to win-win. But if it is and Egyptian stand is beyond these fact, surly there will be no room for any to win except for the the one who stands fairly.
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35



Magertu Regassa
10-01-2014 12:28pm
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ABAY RIVER IS THE PROPERTY OF ETHIOPIANS
I am surprised to still see the Egyptian politicians being unable to rub-out from their brains the obsolete water treaties of the 1929 and 1959, which were illegally legalized. How long are Egyptians going to sing their oldies single song that goes on as "Egypt is the Gift of Nile and Nile is the Gift of Egypt"? I doubt that they know what the call NILE is a dry land without the ABAY RIVER of Ethiopia. I tell you, what politicians call "Negotiated Settlement" will not and cannot workout with Arab Countries in particular and Egypt in general. The committee that was set up to examine the impact of the GERD on the downstream countries had clearly indicated that the dam doesn't have detrimental impact on Egypt and Sudan. That's why the Sudanese Government had already started cooperating with Ethiopia as far as constructing this Mega Hydro-Power Project is concerned. Why are the Egyptians displaying their old enmity and envy against Ethiopia? The following are some historical facts about Egypt's foreign policy with regard to Ethiopia: 1)Egypt doesn't want to see a strong, rich, peaceful, and stable Ethiopia simply because it wants to keep us fight each other so much so that we ignore efficiently utilizing our waters.That's why Jemal Abdelnasir, Anwar Sadat, Husni Mubarek had been financially and militarily assisting Ethiopian rebels that used to fight against the central government.During the one year reign of Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Mursi had given USD 500,000 to G-7 not because there is idelogical similarity between the two but simply to weaken Ethiopia. Moreover, during the Ehio-Eritrea war, Egypt was physically involved in the war assisting Eritrea. 2)Egypt cries for water but it had never ever contributed a single penny that could be used to maintain the ecology of the areas where Egypt receives water from. 3)Hunger, famine, and drought in Ethiopia has always been a source of pleasure to Egypt. If we Ethiopians have nothing to eat, we will not get the energy to utilize our natural resources including the ABAY RIVER. This is among the many nasty Egypt's formula in its foreign policy with regard to Ethiopia.Recall that, when Ethiopia was hit by drought quite few years back,a country named Tunisia sent several metric tons of food aid to Ethiopia while Egypt didn't. However,Tunisia doesn't have any interest on Ethiopia's ABAY RIVER. The bottom line is that our government must tell Egypt the fact that "Enough is Enough, including negotiation". ENDEJEMERNEW ENECHERESEWALEN!!!!
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