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Ethiopian Dam announcement unexpected

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Sudan’s ambassador to Cairo says Arab League intervention a possibility

Despite the Egyptian presidency’s claims that the diversion of water will not affect Egypt’s portion of the Nile water, Ethiopia’s decision provoked various responses among Egyptian political figure nonetheless (Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation handout )

Despite the Egyptian presidency’s claims that the diversion of water will not affect Egypt’s portion of the Nile water, Ethiopia’s decision provoked various responses among Egyptian political figure nonetheless (Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation handout )

Ethiopia’s announcement it will begin diverting water from the Blue Nile attracted the ire of certain political figures in Egypt and the Sudanese ambassador in Cairo, although the National Salvation Front, Egypt’s largest opposition group, has as of yet to adopt a position on the matter.

The Sudanese ambassador in Cairo and representative in the Arab League, Kamal Hassan, called Ethiopia’s announcement “shocking”, state-run Al-Ahram reported.

Hassan said Egypt and Sudan could turn to the Arab League to solve the crisis. He continued by saying the tripartite commission tasked with assessing the impact of the Ethiopian dam had not yet completed their assessment, adding that Ethiopia’s decision was sudden.

If the dam is found to threaten Egypt and Sudan’s share of the Nile water, then an emergency session in the Arab League will be called, Hassan said.

Hamdeen Sabahy, leader of Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby, was critical of Ethiopia’s decision, saying Egypt would not give up a single drop of water.

The media spokesperson from Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby, Heba Yassin, said Ethiopia had taken a dangerous step. She cautioned that Egypt must tread carefully and handle the situation delicately. “We have to be worried; it is a dangerous move for Egyptians.”

The leader of the Change and Development Party, Bassam Khafagi, also lashed out, calling it an “act of aggression”. Khafagi said in a personal statement he hoped President Mohamed Morsi would call for an “emergency meeting with the National Defence Council to discuss Ethiopia’s violation of national security”.

The Conscience Front also condemned Ethiopia, saying their actions contravene international agreements and treaties, and threatens Egypt’s share of the Nile water. According to the statement the front expressed concern regarding the Egyptian government’s soft approach to the issue.

The Freedom and Justice Party has as of yet not released a statement. According to one of its spokespeople, Mohamed Soudan, the party could be expected to address the issue on Wednesday, although no official notice has been made.

The presidency, however, was quick to say the diversion of water will not affect Egypt’s portion of the Nile water.

The distribution of the Nile water is a contentious issue for African countries along the Nile’s path. Egypt receives the lion’s share of the water, followed by Sudan, as per colonial-era agreements with England. Egypt is assured 55 billion cubic metres of Nile water every year out of the estimated 84 billion cubic metres produced annually.

 

About the author

Luiz Sanchez

Luiz Sanchez

Journalist

Luiz is a Brazilian journalist in Cairo @luizdaVeiga

  • fact

    ethiopia has never been colonized by any one so any treaty dosent’t concern ethiopia

    • Aksumawi

      Great !

  • sole

    ethiopia has never been colonized by any one so any treaty dosent’t concern ethiopia

    • Massil Abet

      be diro bere yarese yelem. yemayhon neger atawra..yihe chigre yemifetaw beselamawi menged enji betornet aydel.

      • dave smith

        Come to your mind. And read Egyptians Arabic websites then you will understand what they are up to. You need to understand that we are the boss not them, so they need to stop any kind arrogance.

      • Aksumawi

        Do you beleive that Egyptians can allow us to take a drop of oil from one of their hole ? if no why they request us to give them our water ?

      • Addis Ethiopia

        tadia gibtse ethiopian begulbet tyzalech beleh new? yihe enkwan aytasebim. yawim hizbun asgedego! hilm new

  • Yared

    Ethiopia has a legitimate right to use its resources. It is absurd and unacceptable for Egypt to tell us how to use our water. There is no convincing point for Egypt to produce surplus and let Ethiopians go hungry. The best way is finding a pragmatic and balanced way to meet the needs of both nations. Ethiopians never been selfish and unfair leave alone to African brothers but also for governments that treated us badly. Nor we have bowed for arrogance, threats and disrespect. Peace and respect.

  • manny ayele

    Both of you Egypt&Sudan are in the African Continent.I wonder whay you run to the Arab Leage before you consult with Africans or African Union even you think the Nile is only belonging to both of you.It shows the black Africans your arrogancy.

    • dave smith

      Great point!

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