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Ethiopia lashes out at Eritrea, Egypt

Published: Mar 27, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics
Ethiopia lashes out at Eritrea, Egypt

ADDIS ABABA – An Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman has lashed out at longstanding rival Eritrea, accusing the latter of destabilizing the East Africa region, while also blasting Egypt for the latter's "malicious" media campaign against Ethiopia's multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam project.
"Eritrea's involvement in regional conflicts has been the case for long now," Ambassador Dina Mufti told foreign journalists at a weekly press briefing on Thursday.

According to Mufti, Eritrea has played a role in the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. "We have circumstantial evidence of Eritrea's involvement [in the South Sudan crisis]," the spokesman said. Tensions between Addis Ababa and Asmara have persisted since a bloody two-year border war – in which tens of thousands were killed – ended in 2000.

As for the row with Egypt over the Nile dam, Mufti said Cairo had launched a media campaign aimed at turning international opinion against the dam project.

"The project is a regional project," he said. "The project will not hurt the interest of Egypt. Rather, it benefits Egypt and other countries of the region."
Egypt's alleged media campaign, according to Mufti, "won't be in the interest of Egypt and [in the interest of] the people of Egypt."

Egyptian pope speaks on the construction of Ethiopian Dam

Published: Mar 24, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News
Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has said Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has a "national duty" to stand for president in upcoming polls.

"Egyptians see him as a saviour and the hero of the 30 June revolution," Tawadros said during an interview with Kuwait's Al-Watan TV channel on Saturday.

 Tawadros also condemned the Arab uprisings, which began in Tunisia in late 2010 before spreading to Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain.

The uprisings "known as the Arab spring, were neither a spring nor an autumn," he said. "It was an Arab winter brought by malicious hands to our Arab region to break up its countries into smaller states."

Meanwhile, on the construction of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, Tawadros claimed its negative impact would be felt in Egypt, Sudan and the whole African continent.

Egypt has voiced concern over the dam on the Nile river, which supplies most of its water needs.

Foreign ministry announces official stance on GERD

Published: Mar 19, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics
Egypt seeking agreement to ensure Ethiopia’s developmental needs, interests of Sudan, and Egypt’s water security, says ministry - See more at:

Egypt seeking agreement to ensure Ethiopia’s developmental needs, interests of Sudan, and Egypt’s water security, says ministry

Egypt seeking agreement to ensure Ethiopia’s developmental needs, interests of Sudan, and Egypt’s water security, says ministry - See more at:

Egypt is seeking to negotiate a “win-win” scenario with Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that would protect the Ethiopia’s developmental needs, Sudan’s interests, and Egypt’s water security, according to a Foreign Ministry document released Tuesday.

The document, outlining the foreign ministry’s official stance towards the dam, detailed the Egyptian narrative of the GERD negotiations and listed the arguments of the Egyptian side.

The Egyptian side said Ethiopia continuing the construction process at the dam site “violates all the well-known international legal principles regarding projects and/or constructions on international rivers”, adding that it has broken a number of international agreements.

Among the agreements mentioned in the document was the 1902 agreement between Ethiopia and the British Government, where the Ethiopian side vowed not to construct or allow the construction of any work across the Blue Nile, Lake Tana, or the Sobat, which would arrest the flow of their waters except in agreement with “His Britannic Majesty’s Government and the Government of Sudan”.

According to the foreign ministry, the Ethiopian side also violated another agreement on the framework for cooperation with Egypt signed in 1993 where each party committed to “refrain from engaging in any activity related to the Nile waters that may cause appreciable harm to the interests of the other party.”

The document added that the Ethiopian side continues to build the dam disregarding the recommendations of the International Panel of Experts (IPOE) final report, which called for further studies in water resource systems, hydropower models, and a trans-boundary environmental and socioeconomic impact assessment.

The IPOE was composed of two experts each from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, along with four international experts. In the panel’s report the Ethiopian side did not share a number of documents, including the dam break analysis, cost benefit analysis, and others.

The report also mentioned that the present hydrological and reservoir simulation study shows detrimental impacts on Egypt’s water demand and the Aswan High Dam’s hydropower generation.

GERD to produce 700 MW electric power by next year

Published: Mar 16, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD,) constructed over the Blue Nile River (Abay) will start producing 700 MW of electric power by next year.

This was disclosed during a press conference called by the office of the National Council for the coordination of public participation on the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam on Wednesday March 12.

According to Zading Abreha, Deputy Director General of the office, “By next year two of the turbines among the 16 will start to generate 375 MW electric power each.” The project was started three years ago and the anniversary of the inauguration of the project will be celebrated throughout the nation and across the globe.

The celebration includes a painting and photograph exhibition, poetic and literature nights, musical drama, and sports and entertainment programs at Addis Ababa stadium and other programs at Benishangul Gumuz, Guba.

According to the deputy director of the office, so far the participation of the public is encouraging and includes four major parts of support namely political, public diplomacy, financial and environmental protection support.

Ethiopian dam's ecological and human fallout could echo Aral Sea disaster

Published: Mar 7, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News
Africa's fourth-largest lake could drop by 20 metres, causing an ecological and human disaster to rival the shrinking of the Aral Sea in central Asia, if Ethiopia goes ahead with massive irrigation projects linked to a giant dam, according to a university paper.

Lake Turkana, located almost entirely in Kenya but fed by the river Omo, which rises in Ethiopia, will be severely impacted by the 243 metre-high Gibe III dam, which is due to be completed this year, says the study, published by the University of Oxford's African Studies Centre. It suggests water levels could drop by half, devastating the lake's fisheries and affecting the livelihoods of 170,000 agro-pastoralists.

"Ultimately, the 6,400 sq km lake could reduce to two small lakes. The picture that emerges from these predictions bears a striking resemblance to the recent disastrous history of the Aral Sea, which was once the world's fourth-largest inland water body," said Sean Avery, a Nairobi-based hydrologist who studied the impact of the dam project for the African Development Bank.

The Aral Sea, which is shared between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, lost nearly 75% of its water in 30 years when vast amounts were abstracted by Soviet farmers from its feeder rivers to grow cotton. The result has been the collapse of the fishing industry, ill-health, climate change across the region, and severe dust storms.

Egypt seeks Saudi help on Ethiopia water dispute

Published: Mar 7, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics
Egypt seeks Saudi help on Ethiopia water dispute

CAIRO — Egypt is considering preparing a formal request for Gulf mediation under the leadership of Saudi Arabia, in order to back Cairo’s stance vis-à-vis the ongoing conflict with Ethiopia about the Renaissance Dam. The mediation request comes as part of a basket of escalatory measures adopted by Egypt in January, following the breakdown of technical negotiations among the Egyptian, Sudanese and Ethiopian water resources ministers.

Speaking to Al-Monitor, an Egyptian government official said, “A detailed report is currently being prepared to examine and explain Egyptian concerns relating to the building of the dam, in the absence of a clear agreement with Ethiopia about it. The final draft of the report, which explains the concerns over the repercussions the construction of the dam will have on Egypt and Sudan, will be sent to the International Panel of Experts.”

The official, who has close ties to Egyptian decision-making circles, added, “Egypt will ask Ethiopia, through the mediation, to sign a binding agreement with Egypt stating the dam’s operational specifications, its stored water capacity, and the amount of water that will be regularly released in a manner that does not negatively affect Egypt’s share of that water.”

This convergence of views between Egypt and the Gulf countries — except for Qatar — began after the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi by the army on July 3, 2013. While the Gulf leaders expressed their satisfaction toward the change in the political scene of Egypt after the fall of the Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates rushed to offer financial aid packages to the Egyptian government, amounting to $10.7 billion in the span of only six months.
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