Negotiations between Egypt and Ethiopia over the filling of the Great Renaissance dam resume this week. Egypt hopes to reach an agreement so that the filling planned to start in a few weeks does not jeopardize its water supply.

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan resume talks on the Great Renaissance Dam (GERD) this week in order to reach consensus on how to fill the infrastructure. Negotiations, which were stopped several months ago, will resume by videoconference while Ethiopia plans to start filling the tank in a few weeks.

Egypt, for its part, believes that the expected rate is too fast and risks leading to a significant reduction in the water reserve available in the river. The parties must also set up mechanisms to manage periods of drought or even any disputes that may arise during the operation of the infrastructure.

In the meantime, the two countries are multiplying comments on the file, affirming their determination to defend their rights. For Egypt, that of having the majority of the waters of the river under a bipartite colonial agreement with Great Britain, and for Ethiopia, that of having this water resource which crosses its territory. If Egypt depends entirely on the Nile to meet its freshwater needs, Ethiopia could supply 100 million people thanks to its 6,450 MW dam built with more than $ 4 billion on equity and more than 70% completed .

The latest negotiations, shunned by Ethiopia, had been conducted with the support of the United States and the World Bank, exacerbating tensions between the two countries. The Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs then said that the country would use all available means to defend the interests of its people. To which the number 2 of the Ethiopian army replied that his country will defend itself firmly and will not negotiate its sovereignty. The country has also deployed part of its army around the dam.

In the meantime, the international community, increasingly alarmed by the situation, is redoubling the calls for negotiation and consensus between the two countries.


Source: Agence Ecofin