February 06, 2021
By FBC English News
Addis Ababa – Ethiopia will not accept any agreement that deviates from the Declaration of Principles (DoP) on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) signed on March 23, 2015, Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister Dr Selesh Bekele said.
The minister said serious problems have been arising in the trilateral negotiations due to the smear campaign on the dam which benefits the East Africa region.
According to him, the issue is made complex by one of the negotiating countries that always uses the principle “if all are not agreed, nothing is agreed.”
This approach has resulted in a confusing and non-progressive negotiation and defamation, he noted.
“We believe this it an attempt to make Ethiopia sign the 1929 and 1959 inequitable and extremely unacceptable colonial agreements. This obviously is not going to work by any means,” Dr Selesh underscored.
The three countries have made major progress in the talks mediated by the African Union, he stated. Yet the delegates sat down more than seven times to negotiation on the role of African experts. Even then, Egypt and Sudan have not been able to reach agreement by raising contradictory opinions.
Ethiopia is wondering whether the two downstream countries want to reach agreement. Sudan, in particular, has been embroiled in controversy over the progress of the African Union mediation process by citing various reasons, the minister revealed.
Dr Seleshi further disclosed that Egypt claims hegemony on the Nile River beyond the Renaissance Dam and wants to protect the exclusionary and unjust exploitation of the colonial accord.
“Therefore, it should be known that our country will not accept this agreement, especially since Egypt is trying to impose it on Ethiopia,” he underlined.
Sudan, on the other hand, claims that its interest is the possible impact of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on its small dam and asking agreement on dam safety and water releasing.
The minister pointed out that Ethiopia is ready to response this demand fully, and it does not have much of a difference because it is a global experience that many sovereign states have on a proper reciprocal data exchange.
According to Dr Selesh, GERD is under rapid construction and the dam is expected to hold 13.5 billion cubic meters of water in the upcoming rainy season.
Of the total 13 power generating turbines, two will also start production this coming rainy season, according to ENA.