Thursday 09 September 2021
I wrote – Rana Osama:
On Thursday, Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti said that returning the Renaissance Dam file to the African House represents a “great diplomatic victory” for Addis Ababa.
He added that “attempts to internationalize the Renaissance Dam” were the most prominent challenges that Ethiopia faced during the current Ethiopian year.
In an interview with the US agency “Bloomberg”, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry confirmed Egypt’s keenness to “avoid armed conflict” over the Renaissance Dam.
Shoukry said in the interview published yesterday, Wednesday, that Egypt is committed to the talks, and that “the formula has always been that for any country, all options are always open” in the Renaissance Dam crisis.
Shoukry stressed that Egypt is keen to avoid “any kind of military conflict.”
Egypt and Sudan view the dam as a threat to their vital water supplies, while Ethiopia considers it essential for development and doubling its electricity production.
Last July, the crisis was brought to the table of the UN Security Council, at the request of Cairo and Khartoum, after Ethiopia began filling the dam’s reservoir for the second year.
During the session, Shoukry said that the Renaissance Dam represented a “real existential threat to Egypt” and to its population of more than 100 million people.
He explained that “in the absence of an agreement regulating the rules for filling and operating the dam, this project may lead to a accumulated water deficit in Egypt of about 120 billion cubic meters.”
He pointed out that this deficit will contribute to “reducing access to clean drinking water, and depriving millions of workers in the agricultural sector of the water needed to irrigate their lands, which will negatively affect their incomes and livelihoods, and destroy thousands of acres of arable land.”
He warned that this situation “Egypt cannot tolerate, but will not accept or tolerate.”