Ethiopia: “We Will Build the Dam”-Ethiopian PM Insists

Could this be the beginning of the ‘water war’ or could the Nobel Peace winner pull through with a peaceful resolution?

By Olumide Oyekunle – 27:10:2019

Ethiopian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed has declared that his country will proceed with its plans to build the dam, stating, “no force can stop Ethiopia” from building it on the River Nile despite objections from Egypt. The dam, under construction on the Blue Nile tributary in northern Ethiopia, will create Africa’s largest hydroelectric power station. 

Some 85% of the Nile emerges from the Ethiopian highlands, crossing some parts of Lybia before landing in Egypt. It is the source of livelihood for Egyptians who depend on the Nile all year round for its water needs. 

The UN predicts that the country may soon suffer from an acute water shortage in the next 5 years if the project continues.

If completed, authorities in Egypt believe the project will allow Ethiopia to control the river’s flow. 

The project has been the source of political tension between the two countries for years. many say this could be the beginning of the ‘water war’- the fight for the soul of the Nile

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to discuss the dispute with Mr. Abiy on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa summit due to start in Russia on Wednesday, Reuters news agency reports. 

Mr Sisi is likely to propose the appointment of a mediator to resolve the long-running dispute, it quotes an unnamed official as saying. 

However, Mr. Abiy said he wanted to “underline” the fact that “no force can stop” the completion of the dam. 

“The people of Ethiopia have no desire to harm the people of Egypt, they only need to get benefit [from the dam],” he told parliamentarians in the capital Addis Ababa. 

Ethiopia hopes that the dam, which is nearly two-thirds complete, will start generating power by 2021 to meet its energy needs. 

Mr Abiy was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month for resolving Ethiopia’s border conflict with Eritrea, and promoting peace and reconciliation in his own country and in the region.


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