Egypt says talks over Ethiopia’s Nile dam deadlocked, calls for mediation

3 mins read
KHARTOUM/CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt said on Saturday that talks with Sudan and Ethiopia over the operation of a $4 billion hydropower dam that Ethiopia is constructing on the Nile have reached a deadlock, and it called for international mediation.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), announced in 2011, is designed to be the centerpiece of the Horn of Africa country’s bid to become the continent’s biggest power exporter, generating more than 6,000 megawatts.

But Egypt fears the dam will restrict the flow of the Nile, the economic lifeblood of all three countries, from Ethiopia’s highlands through the deserts of Sudan and on to Egypt’s fields and reservoirs.

Egypt relies on the Nile for 90% of its fresh water, and it wants the GERD’s reservoir to release a higher volume of water than Ethiopia is willing to guarantee, among other disagreements.

“Talks have reached a deadlock as a result of the Ethiopian side’s inflexibility,” the Egyptian ministry of water resources and irrigation said in a statement.

“Egypt has called for involving an international party in the Renaissance Dam negotiations to mediate between the three countries and help…reaching a fair and balanced agreement,” it said after talks in the Sudanese capital Khartoum between the three countries’ water resources ministers.

Egypt did not say who should mediate, but the presidency called on the United States to play “an active role in this regard”.

On Friday, the White House said in a statement that the United States “supports… ongoing negotiations to reach a cooperative, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on filling and operating” the dam.

Ethiopia’s minister at the talks, Seleshi Bekele, rejected the Egyptian request for a mediator.

“Why do we need new partners? Do you want to extend (the negotiations) for an indefinite time?,” he told reporters.

Ethiopia last month rejected a proposal by Egypt to operate the dam. Addis Ababa did not say how much water it wants to release, but Egypt wants the dam to release a minimum of 40 billion cubic meters of water annually.

Yasser Abbas, the Sudanese water resources minister, said Ethiopia had proposed at the talks filling the dam’s reservoir within four to seven years.

“Agreement has been reached on many points but there are some disagreements which the research committee will work on,” he said, without elaborating.



  1. So what will Egypt do if no mediator comes forward? Send a couple of its clunky F16’s and cause harm to the dam? If it goes that route, the F16 will trigger this massive earth quake from its earth shaking sonic boom. When a massive earthquake occurs around a big river like The Blue Nile it always triggers a massive alluvial tsunami which forces the river to flow backward. You follow me?

    On the other hand this Egyptian minister is sending a message to all of you bigots. He is asking you to come to his joint in droves. He will treat you like a king after you finished shining his shoes. First you have to come up with a ‘liberation’ front. I suggest the following striking names.

    1) Black-mane Lion Liberation Front
    2) Rent Is Too Damn High In Minnesota Liberation Front
    3) Abiy Is Not Pure Oromo Liberation Front
    4) I Want Egypt To Take Over The Dam Liberation Front
    5) We Are Arabs Too Liberation Front
    6) I Hate The Word Ethiopia Liberation Front.

    You want me to go on? Let me stop here for now.

    Among these 6, the 4th & 5th ones will be a hit for you in Al-Qahirah. They will be runaway bread crumbs-getter for your front. Also make sure you give yourself an Arab sounding non de guerre for yourself and your scavenger lieutenants. That will make things easier for you in breaking the ice with el-Sisi and his Wahhabi big bucket friends. I’m not lying to you. Just ask your predecessors!!! So hurry up!!!!

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