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Ethiopia’s Nile River Dam
News Bytes 03/18/2020 15 Comments

Ethiopia won’t budge. The African country won’t sign a deal with Egypt and Sudan over its dam on the Nile River—not even with pressure from the United States.

Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gedu Andargachew, says the three countries need to resolve their differences without outside pressure.

“In the talks held in Washington, D.C., . . . we were pressured to quickly reach an agreement and sign a deal before resolving outstanding issues,” he says. “We are of the opinion that an agreement reached under pressure is not in the best interest of anyone.”

Ethiopia is building on the Nile River. The project is more than 70% completed. Now tensions are rising over a standoff between Ethiopia and Egypt regarding the $4.6 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. (See “Damming the Nile.”)

When Ethiopia didn’t attend a February meeting in Washington, Egypt’s foreign ministry called the country’s absence “unjustifiable.” Officials added, “Egypt will use all available means to defend the interests of its people.”

Following the unsuccessful meeting, U.S. President Donald Trump phoned Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and “expressed hope that an agreement on the [dam] would be finalized soon.”

Ethiopia is drafting its own proposal on how to resolve the standoff. Officials will present it to Egypt and Sudan.

“We won’t subscribe to an agreement just because the U.S. . . . came forward with it. We need to take time and sort out sticking points,” Gedu stresses.

Meanwhile, the deadlock over the dam is getting increasingly bitter. Ethiopia’s top military officers visited the site of the dam. They issued a statement warning that they will respond “if there are any attacks on the dam.”

Ethiopia’s construction of the mega-dam, which will be Africa’s largest, has been prickly for years. Ethiopia says its 100 million people need power from the dam to pull many of out of poverty. But Egypt warns that filling the dam’s reservoir too quickly in the coming years will threaten its fair share of Nile River waters.

Ethiopia wants to fill the dam in seven years. But Egypt relies on the Nile for irrigation and water for its population of about 100 million. Egypt proposes a slower fill over a period of 12–21 years.

“We are building this dam inside our territory, with our water resource and using our own money,” says Gedu. “More than 65 million Ethiopians don’t have access to electricity. This is not acceptable. We are trying to pull them out of darkness using the power generated from this dam.”

Gedu insists the main disagreement “stems from Egypt’s refusal to accept the rights other countries have on the river. . . . I know the Nile River is God’s gift for Egypt.” However, he says, “The same is true for Ethiopia and Sudan. Egyptians should come to terms with that.”

(In this June 28, 2013, file photo, the Blue Nile river flows near the site of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam near Assosa, Ethopia. AP Photo/Elias Asmare, File)

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Most recent comments

This is so confusing! I hope

This is so confusing! I hope Ethiopia comes to an agreement with Egypt and Sudan soon.

@ Lena P

Did you read the article that they put a link to? I was confused by this one, but then I read that one and it made a lot more sense.


Okay? Well, just remember. Don't meet in groups over 10!



Oh dear...

Oh dear... I don't think they should have to be under pressure; I mean if they don't want to dam the Nile, than isn't that there choice?

@ Bella

Because of the coronavirus. And in the article it was talking about all these meetings they are having. And the W.H.O and C.D.C said not to meet in groups of 10/5.

so dumb

This is dumb! The Ethiopians shouldn't be able to dam the river it could make it hard for the Sudanese and Egyptians to get water Ethiopia doesn't have a right to commandeer all of the water in the nile.


Wow I haven’t been on in at least maybe a month!! Haha. What’s the most interesting article on here now?


Oh got it! XD

Beth H

Haha, welcome back! I dont know which is best!

@ Beth H

I think this one is the best:

@Beth H

Welcome back! Just yesterday I was wondering where you were!

@Beth G & Emelia

Haha, thanks!


Ok cool, I’ll check it out!

the dam

hey,its ethiopias land they should be able to build a dam if they want 2.and dont forget it will provide electricity 4 lots of people.

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