Ethiopia has dismissed reports that it’s filling a massive reservoir behind a new hydroelectric dam, as the colossal infrastructure project strains ties between three African nations that all rely on the River Nile for water. Egypt has previously threatened to go to war over the dam.
Almost 10 years of negotiations between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt over Ethiopia’s construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have failed to resolve the conflict. Recent satellite images from the European Space Agency show water filling the reservoir behind the dam, but Ethiopian officials insist it’s just “natural pooling” from rainfall, not the start of filling operations.
All three nations share the water of the Blue Nile, one of the two tributaries of the River Nile. Sudan and Egypt insist an agreement on how Ethiopia will operate the new dam should be reached before the reservoir is filled.
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Update #1: Egypt accuses Ethiopia of stonewalling on Nile dam (Al-Monitor)
Update #2: Nile water an existential issue for Egyptians, Sisi tells AU chair (Ahram Online)
WNU Editor: Ethiopia wants the dam to provide electricity and water for irrigation. Egypt wants to limit what this dam can provide. I do not know how this can be resolved. There is no middle ground between the two sides.