Ethiopia sticks to July schedule to begin first stage filling of GERD

3 mins read

Mahlet Fasil

Addis Abeba, March 03/2020 – In a direct rebuttal to a statement released by the US government over the weekend warning Ethiopia not to begin filling, Ethiopia said it will go ahead and begin the first phase of the filling of the reservoir at the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as of next July, in line with its earlier schedule.

The weekend statement released by the US Secretary of the Treasury warned Ethiopia that “final testing and filling should not take place without an agreement,” a remark that caused a collective outrage in Ethiopia and beyond.

Ethiopia has immediately countered the statement from the US Treasury, but stated its commitment to stick to its plan to begin filling of the dam at a presser given this afternoon by Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew, and Dr. Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy of Ethiopia at the office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

According to Dr. Seleshi, Ethiopia will continue following international principles of equitable utilization of the Nile water and will adhere to the ongoing negotiations under the framework of the Principle of Declaration (PoD) signed between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan. However, Ethiopia will not accept “unnecessary” demands forwarded outside of the agreed upon frameworks. He added that as of July Ethiopia expects to begin filling the mega dam with due considerations to the principles of equitable utilization of the Nile waters by all reparian states. But as “the construction progresses, when we reach at a phase where we need to begin to fill the Dam, we will begin to fill,” he said, adding that the reservoir is expected to hold 4.9 billion cubic meter of water by the end July, the peak of Ethiopia’s rainy season. There was no binding agreement that prohibits Ethiopia from doing so, he said and added “the negotiation has not stopped; it will continue.”

Foreign Minister Gedu on his part reaffirmed that Ethiopia wanted the negotiations to preserve its interest, but blamed the recent role by the United States Department of Treasury and the World Bank for showing interest to draft a law, which is beyond and above participating as mere observers. When it comes to the dam, there is only one option and that is the option of continuing the constructive negotiations the three countries were conducting, he said he said and called on the role of the US and the World Bank to be clearly articulated .

AS

 

5 Comments

  1. I have been reading various comments about this interrupted discussion on the dam on this and other websites also on some papers in the Middle East. The opinions vary and are so many. Some think the decision by Mnuchin to change his role from an invited observer to a decision maker is fueled by his desire to win the support of Egypt for the new peace treaty proposal by the son-in-law of the president. Such opinions can be just guessing. If that is true then this public official has a serious problem. He is a public servant who took an oath of office to serve the USA and USA alone, not Egypt or anyone else. But that is only contemplation by those who think so and they must be very careful about that because that is what those Anti-Semi groups are accusing folks like him.

    In any case, the old country has informed him that it is disassociating itself from this particular discussion. In my opinion, there should not have been any negotiating but constructive engagement and discussions. So, what now? What will this ‘new sheriff in town’ do about it? Hold the bag on the old country? That will not be fair and is nothing but a downright unfair foreclosure. It shows his want of expertise in diplomatic affairs. In my opinion such task should have been assigned to the State Department. You just can’t boss around a nation of very proud and friendly nation whose citizens have been pitching the last penny they have toward the construction of the dam.

  2. Debretsion Gebremicbael had visited this GERD dam project more than any other human being , he went there back and forth from Addis Ababa hundreds of times if not thousands of times. Debretsion Gebremichael is the one that brought all these issue of economic sabotage by using his connections in USA, his sabotage includes to start filling with water while the dam is still prematured so the dam collapses without further detail safety/quality investigation of the dam is Carr Ed out, as long as the dam collapses one way or the other without the need for retrofitting the dam becomes visible Debretsion succeeded .

  3. Egypt’s effort has been not only to control this river but to colonize the old country. Don’t laugh now but what else to make of it. Since 1956 it has been spoiled both by the dead Soviet Union and the West since 1979. Since 1979 Egypt has been in peace with Israel which it used to consider a sworn enemy. So after the historic peace accord of 1979 there hasn’t been an ‘enemy’ strong enough to pose a serious treat for Egypt. So, why does Egypt need to pile up such a huge arsenal that includes more than 200 F16’s and so many Dassault Rafale supersonic fighter jets? To protect itself from Italy, Spain, Libya, Sudan or the Gaza Strip? I remember reading an article many years ago where it was told that Egypt was creating a new highly mobile fighting force trained for jungle warfare. I don’t see a jungle in Libya and for sure now in Sudan anymore. Do you see one? If el-Sisi decides to send some of these jets to do harm on an innocent nation those who armed him have the obligation to restrain him. The writing is on the wall in big and bold letters. Those two patriots Obbo Gedu and Seleshi are saying that the construction of the dam will continue unabated and the filling will start during the rainy season beginning July as planned without causing any harm to Sudan or Egypt. And that is it. End of story!!!

  4. This is a bullet free America-Egypt war against poor people of Ethiopia who still looking for and strives to fight poverty, seek basic goods; like electricity, food & water, … etc. Why being assigned such Head of Treasury to draft an agreement & mediate as there may be other state departments who are more knowledgeable for prevailing issues. USA clumsy foreign politics spoil sovereign nations around a globe even if they have the power to play on the field & turn around politics of the world.

    It should be condemned by international communities and will be liable for making imposition on sovereignty of a nation.

    Long live to Ethiopia!!!

  5. Abay Tsehaye’s Ethiopian Bank files along with the sugar projects files, need to get audited extensively so Prosperity Party can win votes in Tigray during the next election.

    CGTN › africa › Africa Live
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