Ethiopia Not Compelled to Notify Egypt, Sudan on the Filling of GERD

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ENA May 15/2020 Ethiopia’s plan to start filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) this rainy season is part of the scheduled construction without needing to notify Sudan and Egypt, Foreign Affairs Acting Spokesperson said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Acting Spokesperson Amsalu Tizazu said “agreement must be reached before filling the dam is a lame excuse since it is done during the rainy season and cause no significant harm on the downstream countries.”

Recently Egypt has submitted a letter opposing Ethiopia’s stance to the fill the dam to the UN Security Council (UNSC), he said, and added that “this is no surprise as usual and which we think will not bring any result.”

Nothing is expected of us with regard to the filling of dam. This is because they [Egypt and Sudan] know that will happen when construction of the dam reaches at a certain level and after all it is being built to be filled. We do not have the obligation of informing,” Amsalu noted.

He further stated that the whole world can understand this has no harm as it is technical and scientific.

Sudan and Egypt know when the filling will take place and the amount to be filled in each phase during the negotiations, the Acting Spokesperson said.

Amsalu emphasized that “there is no way that we have necessarily inform them when we will start filling.”

The latest Egypt’s 17 page letter to UN Security Council states the filling of the GERD as a serious situation and requests the international community to press upon Ethiopia.

Egypt’s letter does not take consideration of the fruitful results sought through negotiations over the years including the Declaration of Principles. Rather it more likely seems that it emanates from their desire of re-imposing to secure the colonial agreement,” Amsalu said.

Moreover, he pointed out that the letter is in contrary to the overall negotiations of the riparian countries and does not reflect the results gained.

Though Ethiopia is not officially requested to respond to Egypt’s claims, the government has prepared a document that clearly reflects the nation’s stand with regard to the filling and overall issues on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Detailed document in response to this, in which pertinent experts including legal, diplomacy and water related experts participated, is already prepared. After thorough discussion has now become the government’s stand and it will soon be submitted to the UN Security Council President,” he elaborated.

Ethiopia reiterates the fair and reasonable utilization of the shared resource among all riparian countries, Amsalu, and called upon the international community to support the efforts of Ethiopia.