There have been reports that the United States will deduct $ 100 million in aid to Ethiopia due to its handling of the controversial Renaissance Dam file.
A government source said that the move came as a result of Ethiopias move to start filling the dam before reaching an agreement with Egypt and Sudan.
Egypt has long opposed any facilities on the Nile that would reduce its share of the Nile water.
Ethiopia says it needs the dam to provide electricity.
- Ethiopia “rejected” an Egyptian proposal seven decades ago to build the first joint dam on the largest sources of the Nile
Once running at full capacity, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will be the largest hydroelectric power station in Africa and provide power for up to 65 million Ethiopians.
A US Congressional source told Reuters news agency: “Up to $ 100 million or so will be deducted, of which $ 26 million will expire at the end. [السنة المالية]”.
The official said the funding is linked to nutrition, regional or border security, political competition and consensus building. Funding for projects linked to HIV (AIDS), migration, refugee aid and the Food for Peace program will not be affected.
- What will happen if negotiations between Egypt and Ethiopia fail?
- How will the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam be filled?
A U.S. State Department official told Reuters that Ethiopias decision to start filling the dam while negotiating with Egypt and Sudan had undermined confidence in the talks and ran counter to commitments made by Ethiopia.
“The United States has repeatedly expressed its concern that starting to fill the Nahda River basin before implementing all necessary measures for the safety of dams has created grave risks,” the official said.
Ethiopias ambassador to the United States told the Financial Times that he hoped the United States would change its mind about cutting aid.
“We asked them to reconsider and we are waiting. We hope that the 117-year-old diplomatic relations will not be damaged by an issue that is not related to the two countries,” said Fitzum Ariga.
Correspondents say the move is likely to be seen as a punitive measure by US President Donald Trump against Ethiopia after the country rejected US-led mediation with Egypt and Sudan.
The talks stalled over several issues, including the demands of Egypt and Sudan that any agreement be legally binding and how to manage the dam during periods of drought.