Addis Abeba, May 26/2020 (ENA) Religious leaders have called on the government to complete the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam alongside conducting fair negotiations with the riparian countries for the benefit of citizens.
At a press conference it held today, the Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia, an umbrella of seven member institutions, stressed Ethiopia’s natural right to develop the Nile River and recommended the continuation of the tripartite negotiations.
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Patriarch, Abune Mathias said the government needs to complete the dam based on mutual understanding with the downstream countries and without interference of outsiders.
He noted that Ethiopians have contributed a lot in terms of finance and human force for the construction of the dam with the hope of improving their livelihood and the development of the country.
The government should, therefore, continue with its commitment to build and complete the dam for the public good, without significantly harming the riparian countries, Abune Mathias underscored.
Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council Secretary and representative of the President, Sheik Kasim Sheik Mohammed Tajudin also said the government should complete the dam alongside fair negotiations with Egypt and Sudan to benefit its citizens without electricity.
“With regard to the dam, we need to stand in unison and even pay sacrifice for its completion,” he stressed.
Ethiopian Catholic Church Head, Cardinal Berhaneyesus Suraphel noted that Ethiopia has the right to develop its rivers in order to provide electricity for its million of citizens like Egypt.
“The Egyptians have better access to electricity than Ethiopia. In our case, students and households have no electricity,” he stated, adding that the downstream countries “do know that Ethiopians have no intention whatsoever of harming Egypt or Sudan.”
Cardinal Berhaneyesus commended the agreement to resume the tripartite negotiations and underscored the need for African solutions to disputes.
Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia Head, Pastor Tsadiku Abdo said Egyptians and even Ethiopians need to cooperate and uphold principles of mutual benefit, mentioning the golden rule principle of “treating others as you want to be treated.”
He called on all Ethiopians to stand united to defend their rights as the Egyptians are pushing a controversial agenda with respect to the dam and provoking internal strife to effect the disintegration of Ethiopia.