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Ethiopia slams International Rivers organisation for supporting Egypt

Ethiopia's National Panel of Experts linked to the Renaissance Dam project dismiss as biased to Egypt criticisms of the dam levelled by US-based environmental group

Ahram Online , Sunday 13 Apr 2014
Grand Renaissance dam
A general view shows construction activity on the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz region March 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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The National Panel of Experts linked to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has slammed the International Rivers Network (IRN) for criticising the Renaissance Dam project, accusing the body of being biased and supporting Egypt against the dam.

The panel accused, in a statement issued Thursday, the US-based environmental organisation "of subverting Ethiopia’s efforts to develop its water resources and lift its vast and growing population out of poverty." It accused the IRN of being paid by Egypt in order to lobby against the Renaissance Dam internationally. 

"Again, the IRN never loses opportunity to lobby for its Egyptian paymasters. Not only does the IRN talk about the 'oversize' of GERD, but also about the Egyptians’ negative emotions over GERD: anger and fear."

The IRN issued 31 March 2014 a statement about Renaissance Dam along with a leaked version of the report of the tripartite technical committee assigned to study the probable impact of the dam on Egypt and Sudan issued last year. 

"One international dam expert who has seen the report states that it shows that construction on the project is proceeding on an aggressively accelerated schedule with little room for adjusting key elements of dam design to reduce harm or prevent problems," the IRN said in its statement. 

The environmental NGO called on Ethiopia to halt construction of the dam until studies on the impact of the dam on the downstream countries are continued.

The IRN added that it would work on keeping international donors from investing in the GERD project while providing alternatives to Ethiopia for water and land reclamation. 

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan formed a tripartite technical committee to study the probable effects of the Renaissance Dam. But the committee's discussions were thwarted in December when Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir announced his support for the dam during a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Talks between Ethiopia and Egypt broke down in recent months. Yet officials from both countries insist they will continue to hold talks in order to solve the dispute over the dam. Earlier this month, the foreign ministers of both Egypt and Ethiopia held talks in Brussels on the dam. 

Founded in 1985 as an international NGO, the International Rivers Network is an environmental anti-dam organisation that aims to protect rivers and local communities that depend on those rivers. The US based organisation is known internationally for its stances against dams in general.
 

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Kan
24-04-2014 10:11pm
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us-bsed environment group
The other day, I was watching one of the major US news organization and one of there gust was saying that over 50 Years America is the largest humanitarian assistance giver to Africa. But China the last 15 years working and building Africa. I can see that!! IRN is a corrupt lobbiest US-based group. The Grand Renaissance Dam is a game changer project. God bless Ethiopia
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Farhan
24-04-2014 01:44am
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Ethiopia has no right to harm Egyptian national interests.
They can build the dam on river but only after they make sure that its not going to affect Egypt.
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Birru
22-04-2014 02:16pm
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Around the bush
It is obvious that Ethiopia has a clear right to use the River Abay not the Nile. If downstream riparian countries claim for their share, the best solution is negotiating the earlier. Now both Egypt and its supporters seem not opposing the dam. Rather, they opposed the prosperous Ethiopia. My fear is what would happen if Ethiopia gets a lot of oil? Would it be healthy for Egypt or to the so-called IRN and its type? God bless Ethiopia!!!
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29



gbalew
20-04-2014 02:18pm
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The Globe is unfair
Had it been drought every international organization would report and organize humanitarian events in the name of human rights issue. Is development not a human right? If so who should say that Ethiopia should not use its natural resources for its development. Shall we sit idle and wait the western or Egyptian support for bread. How dare an anti dam NGO talk about fairness and investment. They are already there with this objective. Tell them to tell the Chinese 20000 mega project to be stopped!. Advise Egyptians not to use Nile for Agriculture! It is a hydro electric dam being built. In the 18th and 19th century where information was poorly accessible to the globe this style of influence has been effective. Unless we all are going back and talking about neocolonization, by any means this report is totally biased which doesn't consider the right of Ethiopians for development and a bridge of national sovereignty
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28



denboba
19-04-2014 05:40am
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reality
Nile dam study fails to stem the tide of Egyptian indignation towards Ethiopia Claim and counter-claim has attended the delayed publication of a report on the likely impact of the Grand Renaissance dam Share 375 inShare 5 Email Sudanese villagers ride in their boat at the river Nile in Sudan's capital Khartoum Villagers on the Nile in Khartoum. Ethiopia's Gerd dam may give Sudan greater water access than an agreement with Egypt allows. Photograph: Antony Njuguna/Reuters The opening sentence of Egypt's new constitution describes the country as the river Nile's gift to Egyptians. It is a grand claim, but one that helps explain Egypt's indignation at the ongoing construction of a blockage on the Nile, thousands of miles upstream: the $4.7bn (£2.8bn) Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam (Gerd). Egyptians have long maintained that Ethiopia's dam project will dangerously deplete its water stocks – about 95% of which are derived from the world's longest river. A year ago, a former Egyptian wate
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27



Solonile
17-04-2014 02:27pm
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I Bought GERD Bond
To: politicians and media on Nile TV Please don't use and think twice on Ethiopian GERD. This is 21st Century are you thinking on the 18th and 19th unjust agreement? Whether you,IRN or your Arab allies dream on the fall of Ethiopians.Never Never and Never again. I, all my family and friends Bought for the third time bought GERD BOND and We will continue until we get Electricity. WE ARE ETHIOPIANS
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Farhan
18-04-2014 02:35pm
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Egyptians should think about Egyptian future not some foreign country
First all the Egyptian concerns should be solved than only they should go ahead with dam.
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Gday G
17-04-2014 11:01am
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about INR NGO grou
egyptians should be consider , belive and bother for ethiopian peoples rather other organizations . IRN NGO group was oppose 11 international dams to be stopped but all the dams are built ang giveing service to their homland people. this show that how much this group(INR) is crised and partial to onsingle body. thank for the bright time. GERD will compulit by ethiopian people
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Farhan
18-04-2014 02:37pm
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They have done much service in modifying the structures of those dams to save population
Its their duty to consider all the population.
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mulu
15-04-2014 02:02am
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You do not publish sensible comments!
Don't ask comments if you do not accept sensible comments! I sent you my comment this afternoon, but you ignored to publish it!What is your hidden motivation for selectively publishing comments!
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chala addis
14-04-2014 08:22pm
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the volume of water will increase
there is a dramatic change in Ethiopia in regarding to forestation before a few years the etho forest coverage was around 3% of the total area of the country, but know according to EEA the forest coverage increases to 15% this scenario brings an increment of water volume for the riparian countries.hence Egypt should not be worry the water scarcity. if the forestation program increases to 90%, then imagine what will happen to the volume of water. my egptian will charge water bills from middle east that will be true.I ADVISE THE EGYPTIAN gov. to be wise for the enhancement of forestation program in Ethiopia through financing and technical cop ration.
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J.M.Jordan
14-04-2014 02:57pm
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Ethiopia objective on this?
Seems the environmental NGO's comments were brushed off without even being taken in consideration. Not exactly the way a project of such vital importance also for Egypt - not only Ethiopia e.g. - should be dealt with by a close neighbour.
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LM
14-04-2014 10:11pm
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Just so you know...
International Rivers has a stated mission against dams in general. They are already at a biased, non-objective position. Also you should read an article at Horn Affairs which demonstrates how IR deliberately, perhaps, left out key phrases and analysis to make the IPoE panel seem damning. Don't start talking about objectivity just yet. http://hornaffairs.com/en/2014/04/06/international-rivers-joins-egypt-stop-ethiopia-dam/
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