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Saudi Arabia accuses Ethiopia of posing threats to Sudan & Egypt

February 26, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – A senior Saudi Arabian official unleashed a barrage of attack against Ethiopia saying that the Horn of Africa nation is posing a threat to the Nile water rights of Egypt and Sudan.

"The [Grand] Renaissance dam has its capacity of flood waters reaching more than 70 billion cubic meters of water, and is located at an altitude of 700 meters and if it collapsed then Khartoum will drown completely and the impact will even reach the Aswan Dam," the Saudi deputy defense minister Khalid Bin Sultan said at the meetings of the Arab Water Council in Cairo.

"Egypt is the most affected party from the Ethiopian Renaissance dam because they have no alternative water source compared to other Nile Basin countries and the establishment of the dam 12 kilometers from the Sudanese border is for political plotting rather than for economic gain and constitutes a threat to Egyptian and Sudanese national security "the Saudi official said.


The massive $4.8 billion dam is under construction and is scheduled for completion in 2015. It lies close to Sudan’s eastern borders and has a power generating capacity of 6,000MW and when completed it will enable Ethiopia to export more power to its neighbors.

Egypt fears that the Nile dam will reduce the flow of the river’s waters further downstream and Addis Ababa has long complained that Cairo was pressuring donor countries and international lenders to withhold funding.

An international panel of experts is set to announce its findings on the impact of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile’s flow in May 2013.

The Saudi deputy defense minister went further saying that Ethiopia is keen on harming Arab nations.

"There are fingers messing with water resources of Sudan and Egypt which are rooted in the mind and body of Ethiopia. They do not forsake an opportunity to harm Arabs without taking advantage of it" Prince Khalid said.

"The establishment of the dam leads to the transfer of water supply from the front of Lake Nasser to the Ethiopian plateau, which means full Ethiopian control of every drop of water, as well as [causing] an environmental imbalance stirring seismic activity in the region as a result of the massive water weight laden with silt withheld in front of the dam, estimated by experts at more than 63 billion tonnes," he added.

The Saudi official added that Nile basin countries calling for reallocating Nile water shares is a "real threat" to Egypt’s future.

"The information is alarming and it is important that we do not underestimate the danger at the moment and its repercussions in the future," he said.

It is unusual for Saudi officials known for being composed to make such damning criticism of other countries. It is not clear whether today’s remarks indicates hidden tensions with Ethiopia.

Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, along with Ethiopia, signed an agreement to overturn British-colonial-era agreements dating back to 1929.

These gave Egypt and Sudan 90 percent of the Nile’s water flow and the power of veto over dam-building, even though 85 percent of the river’s water flows from the Ethiopian highlands.

Ethiopia and the upstream states contend they need more water because of burgeoning populations, industrialization and agricultural projects.

Water needs are expected to rise as the Nile basin population is projected to reach 654 million by 2030, up from 372 million in 2005, according to UN estimates.

(ST)

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Comments

  • Yareb telat Added Nothing new the Arab never like Ethiopia I can understand why the Saudi Arabian defense minister has to speak on behalf of Egypt and Sudan first they simply declaring war between neighbors the second reason is because of the discovery of the oil and gas on for locations even though the two neighbors country trying to work out a deal recently in the pass they had fought Ethiopia for centuries
  • Henock Added Bullshit Arabs!! No one deems Arabs as human beings. Ignorants
  • Anteneh Added Hey u saudi sultan go the *** up, n back to ur desert country! We don't gave a shit what ya said, we go forward as always!
  • Abiyot Assefa Added We have a full of right to build the dume b/c our resource so that we don't care what you are said. Long live for ethiopia. Amen.
  • yohannes Added *** saudi,place of poor mind people
  • HORRIE Added instead of complaining on Ethiopian resource, I personally advice The Egyptian and their allies to invest on natural resource in Ethiopian Highland. Dont you know that if people has nothing to eat, what would be next?
  • chala Added hame on saudi saying that....go solve your problem instead of trying punting you nose other people matter. We Ethiopia or the rest of African nation we don't care what you are saying. Matter your on problem....I think you need history lesson. When you live in the glass house you don't wan be the first on to throw stone.
  • Daniel Added Ethiopia's time is coming don't panic oil giant. we have got both Oil & Water
  • confused Added comments in this forum are very very funny and at times ***! The comments by Matthews Dita is a classic comedy. Donot you have shame? You have a country that doesn't even produce enough food for itself but you are talking about launching a satellite for military communications? Is that for real? I bet you are joking or you must be terribly *** with complete ignorance about your own country
  • bellete Added These so called Saudi officials worried about Egypt's and Sudan's future. It’s so sad to hear that, for Ethiopia has been given up its future for others other than her own people. Anyway, that was in the past, and the past will never make its way to our future. Know this truth; we won't stop from reaching our goal no matter what is going to happen. Stay back!

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