Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that Ethiopia is planning to build more than 100 dams on the Blue Nile River in the next fiscal year. Thereupon, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry reacted by stating “Ethiopia revealed once again its bad faith towards the countries of the region and how it approached the Nile dispute”.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said that “Abiy Ahmed’s statement once again reveals Ethiopia’s ill-will and treatment of the Nile and other international rivers, which it shares with neighboring countries.” Also, Hafez said, “Egypt has always recognized the right of all Nile Basin countries to create water projects and use the resources of Africa’s longest river to ensure development; however, these projects and facilities should be established after coordination, consultation and agreement with the countries that may be affected by them, especially the downstream countries.”
In this context, Hafez, evaluating Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s comments, in the context of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute, underlined that “Ethiopia must respect the rights of other countries, taking into account the applicable rules of international law governing the use of international rivers; but this is a continuation of the unfortunate Ethiopian approach and does not harm Egypt’s interests.”
Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia are at odds over the filling and operation of the GERD project built by Ethiopia on the main tributary (the Blue Nile) that supplies 80% of the Nile River’s flow. Continuing negotiations, mediated by the African Union, stalled in April over Ethiopia’s inability to determine how much water will be released to the downstream countries, Sudan and Egypt.
On the other hand, tensions are increasing in the region. In this context, Egypt and Sudan have been holding joint military exercises in recent months as a show of strength in the face of increasing tensions with Ethiopia.