Tuesday 30th March 2021
I wrote – Rana Osama:
Ethiopia informed the US envoy to Sudan, Donald Booth, that it will proceed with the process of the second filling of the Renaissance Dam next July, in continuation of its intransigence and its defiance of warnings of Egypt and Sudan of the possible negative repercussions of the dam.
During the bi-weekly press conference of the official spokesman for the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Dina Mufti, Tuesday, he said that Addis Ababa informed the US envoy to Sudan that it will proceed with the second filling of the Renaissance Dam Lake and that it is part of the planned construction of the dam.
He pointed out that the Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Damaki Mekonnen, held talks, which he described as “successful”, with the American envoy, which dealt with the opportunities of the United States’ contribution to pushing forward the stalled Renaissance Dam negotiations in accordance with the Declaration of Principles signed between the three countries in March 2015.
He explained that Mekonnen briefed the US envoy on Ethiopias need to benefit from its resources for development, pointing out that more than 60 percent of Ethiopians are deprived of electricity.
While Ethiopia is trying to impose a fait accompli in the Renaissance Dam crisis, the Ethiopian Foreign Minister claimed that his country “respects the international law for the use of transcontinental rivers,” reiterating – without evidence – that the dam does not harm the two downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan), according to the Mufti.
The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman added that “resolving differences must be through negotiations, and any change in negotiation mechanisms must be in accordance with the Declaration of Principles.”
Sudan put forward a proposal to form a quadripartite mechanism that includes, along with the African Union, the United States of America, the European Union and the United Nations, to mediate a solution to the crisis.
While the proposal received broad Egyptian and international support, Ethiopia rejected it and considered it “sterile and futile.”
On Monday, the head of the Transitional Sovereignty Council in Sudan, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, called on the United States and the European Union to contribute to reaching a joint agreement on the Renaissance Dam.
Earlier, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi stressed that the Renaissance Dam is a “matter of existence,” stressing the need to seek to reach “as soon as possible” a binding legal agreement that regulates the filling and operation of the dam, “far from any unilateral approach that seeks to impose a fait accompli and ignore it. The fundamental rights of peoples. “
During a press conference with his Burundian counterpart, Evarist Ndayishimi, Al-Sisi referred to the existing cooperation between the two countries in the field of water resources and irrigation, and the joint efforts to maximize the sustainable utilization of the Nile River resources, stressing Egypt’s vision “to make the Nile River a source of cooperation and development, as a lifeline for all peoples of the Basin countries.” Nile”.
A week ago, Dr. Mohamed Abdel Aty, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, reiterated Egypt’s rejection of any unilateral Ethiopian measures in the Renaissance Dam crisis.
Ethiopia had announced that the second filling of the dam would take place in the next rainy season from July to next October, stressing that “the second filling period should not be extended in any way.”
The Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Seleshi Bekele, said in a symposium marking the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Renaissance Dam, that the filling will be at a rate of 13.5 billion cubic meters (approximately 3 times the volume of the initial filling carried out last year by 4.9 billion cubic meters).
Ethiopia has so far completed 79% of the dam’s construction.