Ethiopia announces completion of fourth and final filling of GERD

Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Sep 2023

Ethiopia has completed the fourth and final filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) reservoir, announced the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) on Sunday.

File Photo: Ethiopia is preparing for the fourth filling of GERD. AFP

"Congratulations to all on the fourth filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Our national perseverance against all odds has delivered," Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wrote on the occasion on social media platform X on Sunday.

The last filling of the dam's reservoir comes despite strong opposition from the two downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, to Ethiopian unilateral filling and operation of the GERD in the absence of a legally binding agreement.

Head of the Ethiopian negotiating team in the GERD dispute and Ambassador to the US Sileshi Bekele said his country received enough rainfall to complete the filling, according to the ENA.

More talks?

In late August, in the latest round of trilateral negotiations to end the decade-old dispute, Egypt and Sudan failed to move Ethiopia toward signing a legally binding agreement.

In a statement, Egypt said they did not witness any tangible change in the Ethiopian position.

However, the three countries agreed to meet for another round of talks in Addis Ababa in late September.

In mid-July, El-Sisi and Ahmed agreed in a meeting in Egypt to resolve the GERD dispute within four months.

The last round of talks in Cairo was the first since talks sponsored by the African Union collapsed in April 2021.

Addis Ababa started generating electricity from the GERD in 2022.

Egypt has repeatedly maintained that these Ethiopian actions violate international law and the Presidential Statement of the UN Security Council issued in September 2021.

Cairo has repeatedly stressed its support for constructing the GERD as part of Ethiopia's right to development while insisting that this should not be done in a way that harms Egypt's historic right to its fair share of the Nile water, especially as the country faces serious water scarcity.

The country has a water deficit of 120 billion cubic metres, which amounts to 55 percent of its water needs.

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