Ethiopia asks Cyril to mediate Nile dam dispute

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed .
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed .
Image: Tiksa Negeri

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed asked President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday to intervene in a long-running dispute with Egypt over a massive dam being built on the Blue Nile River.

Ethiopia’s ties to Egypt have soured since the East African country launched the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam in 2011.

Set to become the largest hydropower plant in Africa, the project has fuelled tensions because Egypt depends on the river for 90% of its water supply.

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan — where the Blue Nile converges with the White Nile before flowing north —started discussions under US mediation in November that are meant to yield an agreement next week.

But major sticking points remained in the latest round of talks on Thursday and the parties have yet to clinch a deal.

Abiy, who visited SA this weekend, called on Ramaphosa to intervene in the negotiations as the next chair of the African Union (AU), which he will take over from Egypt in January.

Ramaphosa said SA was open to playing a role in facilitating “whatever agreement can be crafted”.

The president said he had already brought up the issue with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was willing to have discussions with Ethiopia. — AFP






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