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Experts Panel Recommendation on Nile Dam Have Been Implemented: Ethiopian Minister

Published: Dec 27, 2013 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics
Most of the recommendations made by the International Panel of Experts (IPoE) on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have been implemented, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy has said.

The Minister, Alemayehu Tegenu, made the statement at a workshop on Tuesday in Addis Ababa to announce progress in the implementation of the recommendations.

The workshop was also aimed at gathering input for the ongoing tripartite ministerial consultation to put in place a follow up mechanism on the implementation of IPoE’s recommendations.

Alemayehu told the workshop participants that IPoE’s recommendations have already been executed on the part of Ethiopia while implementation of the remaining would be completed shortly.

Due to lack of accurate information, the downstream countries, namely Egypt and Sudan, had concerns over GERD, Alemayehu recalled.
Hence, a ten-member international panel of experts, comprising two Ethiopians, two Egyptians, two Sudanese and four nonaligned professionals, was set up to address those concerns.

Following a year-long assessment, the panel submitted its final report including recommendations to the three governments in May 2013, Alemayehu said.

Sudan 'partner' in Egypt-Ethiopia dam talks

Published: Dec 15, 2013 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics
Sudan 'partner' in Egypt-Ethiopia dam talks
On Monday, Khartoum hosted a ministerial meeting to bridge the gaps between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the controversial dam, but no accord was reached.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Sudan said on Friday that Khartoum is a "partner", not a "mediator" in negotiations between Egypt and Ethiopian over a controversial multibillion hydroelectric dam on the River Nile.

"Sudan is a basic partner, not just a mediator," Sudanese Ambassador in Addis Ababa Abdulrahman Sir Al-Khatim said on Friday. "If Sudan had been a mere partner, it would not have taken part in all rounds of negotiations on the Renaissance Dam," he added.

Egypt and Ethiopia lock horns over Ethiopian plans to build a massive dam on the Blue Nile. The plans have raised fears in Egypt that the move would threaten Egypt's historical share of the historical river, which represents the country's primary water source.

On Monday, Khartoum hosted a ministerial meeting to bridge the gaps between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the controversial dam, but no accord was reached.

Egyptian media quoted Egyptian delegate Alaa al-Zawahiri as describing Sudan as a "biased mediators" in the negotiations, a claim dismissed by Sudanese officials.

Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia Fail to Agree On Dam Construction

Published: Dec 11, 2013 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics

Khartoum — Water ministers of Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt failed to reach an agreement on the disputed Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project and decided to refer the sticking points to a third meeting.

The second ministerial meeting which was held in Khartoum on Monday sought to reach an agreement on forming a joint mechanism for implementing the recommendations of the International Panel of Experts (IPoE) regarding the dam.

The IPoE is composed of six representatives each drawn from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, and another four international experts and was established to assess the impact of the dam project on downstream countries.

The report which was submitted by IPoE to the three countries last June is believed to show that the $4.7 billion dam will not have any major effect on lower riparian countries of Egypt and Sudan. However Egypt assert that the deficiencies mentioned by the report need to be addressed before carrying on with the dam project.

The Sudanese water minister, Muattaz Musa Abdallah Salim, told reporters following the meeting that they have addressed a significant part of the issues on the follow-up of the implementation of the IPoE recommendations.

He added that they concluded the second meeting successfully, pointing that remaining issues would be addressed in Khartoum during talks which will be held from January 4 to 5.

The Egyptian water minister, Mohamed Abdel-Mutalab, for his part told reporters that they reached an agreement on some items but others are still pending.

Nile Talks Highlight Ethiopian, Egyptian Split

Published: Dec 9, 2013 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics

CAIRO — Water ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are meeting in Khartoum to try to resolve differences over Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam. Egyptian officials remain worried the Nile project threatens the nation's security.

Egyptian, Ethiopian and Sudanese officials hope to reach an agreement on the Renaissance Dam, which has angered Egyptian officials and brought forth repeated objections to the project.

This second round of tripartite talks follows a shift in allegiances among the three countries. Sudan has historically sided with Egypt in claiming the lion's share of the river's water and veto rights over upstream developments. But last week, Khartoum lent its support to Ethiopia's drive to complete construction.

Ethiopian officials have tried to bring Sudan and others on board by offering access to future electricity generated by the dam. They argue the project should be seen as a pan-African effort.

Yet Egypt remains worried. Ethiopia began diverting water earlier this year to fill the massive reservoir behind the dam, a multi-year effort that will lower water levels reaching Egypt.

Next on Egypt's to-do: Ethiopia and the Nile

Published: Dec 8, 2013 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics
Play a game of word association almost anywhere in the world, and if you try the word "Nile", the answer will be "Egypt". Herodotus famously said the country was a gift of the fabled river, and it's no exaggeration - given that Egypt is almost totally dependent on the Nile for water and agriculture.

But upstream of Cairo, there's a country where the answer to the word association wouldn't be Egypt - where the people don't even call the river the Nile, and where more than 85 percent of the river's water originates. That place is Ethiopia, and it has enraged Egypt by starting to build a huge dam on the river.

The dam itself, which will be used to generate hydropower, is a beast. It will generate 6,000 megawatts of power and stand 170 metres high and 1,800 metres wide, making it the biggest dam in Africa and the 13th biggest in the world. Ethiopia calls it the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and its government and people see it as just that - a reassertion of historic Ethiopian wealth and influence.

Upriver from the construction site in northwestern Ethiopia sits the small hamlet of Gish Abay. There you can find the three small trickles of water, hidden behind a few tufts of grass, that are believed to be the source of the Blue Nile, the tributary from which the vast majority of Nile water flows.

Al Jazeera visited those trickles shortly after Ethiopia announced plans for the dam in 2011 and saw lines of priests and locals snake up and down a field leading to the springs, clutching jerrycans and bottles filled with the water that they believe to be holy - even magic. Here, the local people call the river "Tis Abbay". They fully understand its importance and said they backed the government's plan to harness its power with a dam.

Talks between Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia to tackle seven main issues

Published: Dec 8, 2013 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics
Talks between Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia to tackle seven main issues: Sources
Al-Masry Al-Youm

Sudanese sources said on Saturday seven main issues will be tackled in the eastern Nile countries’ technical experts meetings that will start on Sunday in Khartoum.
An agreement will be signed to guarantee approach between points of view on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project. Parties will consider mechanisms of the dam’s administration and operation as well as economic, social and environmental impacts.
The meeting will discuss agreement on financing the dam and timeline to implement recommendations of the international committee which evaluates the dam, the sources added. The Sudanese government is trying to overcome the current impasse of conflicts between Egypt and Ethiopia.
Parties will also consider resuming studies on the dam's safety, according to sources, which added that the Sudanese government is trying to reassure citizens in al-Qadarif state, located on the Ethiopian-Sudanese border, after the Ethiopian side offered practical vows over these studies.  
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