President Sahle-Work Zewde strongly defended Ethiopia’s right to use a part of its geography to develop without harming others
Ethiopia’s position on the exploitation of the Nile River, reiterated before the United Nations by President Sahle-Work Zewde, who occupies this Friday prominent spaces in several media.
We firmly believe that the use of the basin will be based on principles of equitable and reasonable management of natural resources, without causing irreversible damage to the environment, and the countries stated Zewde at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.
The dignitary was explicit and forceful when she addressed the issue, and strongly defended Ethiopia’s right to use a part of its geography to develop without causing any harm anyone, according to an Addis TV report.
According to the television station, the Ethiopia’s intention of benefiting the region economic growth was essential based on the use of a resource; which born in Burundi and flows through East Africa in a South-North direction.
Meanwhile, Dr. Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s water and energy minister, made the comments after visiting the project.
Bekele said the project had shown remarkable progress after the replacement of the Metals and Engineering Corporation (Metec), a state conglomerate run by the Ethiopian military, by international contractors, reports Ethiopian news website Borkena, citing the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC).
His statement came amid a rise in tension between Ethiopia and Egypt, after talks earlier this month failed to settle the issue of how much the river’s flow would be disrupted during the filling of the GERD reservoir.
Seleshi said more than 96% of the spillway and the saddle dam were complete, the main dam had reached 145m height, and work had begun on filling the void in its centre with concrete. So far, 8 million cubic metres had been filled, according to Borkena/EBC.
The saddle dam is an auxiliary structure built to contain water in the reservoir.
The latest round of talks between Ethiopia and Egypt, and including Sudan, took place over 15-16 September in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, but failed again to reach a satisfactory settlement on how fast the GERD’s reservoir should be filled.
Egypt wants the reservoir to be filled in a seven-to-10-year timeframe, while Ethiopia time frame was three years limiting the disruption to the river’s flow.
Another round of talks are scheduled for October, Sudan.
Egypt Today also reported that Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said he had started what the news outlet called “diplomatic escalation” to bring other countries in to influence the long-running standoff.