May 31, 2021 (The nation press services) — Egypt has rejected Ethiopia’s intention to build a number of dams in different regions of the country, the foreign ministry said on Monday.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced on Sunday that Ethiopia plans to build more than 100 dams in the upcoming fiscal year.
Ahmed Hafez, foreign ministry spokesman, said Ahmed’s statement once again reveals Ethiopia’s ill faith and its treatment of the Nile and other international rivers that it shares with neighboring countries “as if they were internal rivers subject to their sovereignty and harnessed to serve their interests.”
Hafez added that Egypt has always recognized the right of all Nile Basin countries to establish water projects and exploit the resources of the longest river in Africa, in order to achieve development.
“However, these water projects and facilities must be established after coordination, consultation and agreement with the countries that may be affected by them, in the forefront of which are the downstream countries,” Hafez said in a statement.
He also said Abiy’s comments “are nothing but a continuation of the unfortunate Ethiopian approach that disregards the applicable rules of international law that regulate the use of international rivers, which imposes on Ethiopia to respect the rights of other countries bordering these rivers and not to harm their interests.”
Egypt and Ethiopia have been at loggerheads over an Ethiopian dam project on the main tributary to the Nile.
Talks stalled in April over an agreement to govern how much water is released downstream.
Sudan, which also opposes the dam, held joint military exercises with Egypt in recent days as a show of strength as tensions escalate with Ethiopia.