Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has warned Ethiopia of the risk of a conflict over a dam the latter is building over the Nile after talks involving the two countries and Sudan ended without making any headway earlier this week.
Representatives from the three countries met in Kinshasa but could find no common ground. While Ethiopia hopes the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will usher in economic development, Egypt fears it will jeopardise its supply from the Nile. Sudan is also concerned about the impact on its own water flows.
“I am telling our brothers in Ethiopia, let’s not reach the point where you touch a drop of Egypt’s water, because all options are open,” said Sisi.
Ethiopia insists it is above board. “We are utilizing water from Ethiopia for our dire need following equitable and reasonable utilization without causing significant harm to our neighbors. We are not utilizing water generated from Egypt or Sudan as water doesn’t flow upstream to Ethiopia,” Ethiopia’s water minister Seleshi Bekele told Reuters.
Construction of the dam—145 metres high and about 2 km long—began in 2011. When complete, it will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric project, generating 15,000 gigawatts.