Meles Zenawi warns Egypt off Nile war
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) -- Egypt could not win a war with Ethiopia over the River Nile and is also supporting rebel groups in an attempt to destabilise the Horn of Africa nation, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said in an interview.
Egypt, Ethiopia and seven other countries through which the river passes have been locked in more than a decade of contentious talks driven by anger over the perceived injustice of a previous Nile water treaty signed in 1929.
Under the original pact Egypt is entitled to 55.5 billion cubic metres a year, the lion's share of the Nile's total flow of around 84 billion cubic metres, despite the fact some 85 percent of the water originates in Ethiopia.
Meles Zenawi warned Egypt on Nile war
Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya signed a new deal to share the waters in May, provoking Egypt to call it a "national security" issue.
Meles said he was not happy with the rhetoric coming from the Egyptians but dismissed the claims of some analysts that war could eventually erupt.
"I am not worried that the Egyptians will suddenly invade Ethiopia," Meles told Reuters in an interview. "Nobody who has tried that has lived to tell the story. I don't think the Egyptians will be any different and I think they know that."
The five signatories of the new deal have given the other Nile Basin countries one year to join the pact before putting it into action. Sudan has backed Egypt while Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi have so far refused to sign.
"The Egyptians have yet to make up their minds as to whether they want to live in the 21st or the 19th century," Meles told Reuters in an interview, referring to the fact the original treaty was negotiated by colonial administrators.
"So the process appears to be stuck."
Ethiopia to defy Egypt and build huge Nile dam
Nile Debate Emphasizes Conservation, Water Sharing
Ethiopia Plans to Build New Hydropower Plant to Generate 5250 Megawatts
Ethiopia launches $4 billion hydro-power project on River Nile
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia on Wednesday said it planned to build a huge dam on the Nile despite a long-running row with Egypt over use of the river and concern the dispute may spark a war.
The nine countries through which the river passes have for more than a decade been locked in often bitter talks to renegotiate colonial-era treaties that gave Egypt and Sudan the lion's share of the river's waters.
However, six of the nine upstream countries -- Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi -- have signed a new deal stripping Egypt of its veto and agreeing to renegotiate how much water each country is entitled to.
"The Great Nile dam construction is scheduled to commence presently near the Ethio-Sudan border," Water and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu told a news conference. "From this dam alone, Ethiopia expects to generate 5,250MW."
The Horn of Africa nation aims to produce 15,000 megawatts (MW) of power within 10 years, part of a plan to spend $12 billion over 25 years to improve the country's power-generating capability.
Alemayehu said Ethiopia would be forced to finance the $4.78 billion dam from its own coffers and from the sale of government bonds because Egypt was pressuring donor countries and international lenders not to fund its dam projects.
POINT OF NO RETURN
"Those bent on deterring the development of the Nile have not yet changed their obstructionist ways. Alas, Ethiopia's resolve has now reached a point of no return," Alemayehu said.
He said tenders for consultancy contracts would soon be open to international bidders and that Ethiopian engineers would start work soon on the dam, expected to take 44 months to complete.
In November, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told Reuters that Egypt was backing rebel groups in his country because of the Nile dispute and that if it went to war with upstream countries over the river it would lose.
ኢትዮጵያና ግብፅ በዓባይ ጉዳይ የቃላት ጦርነት ጀምረዋል
ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር መለስ ዜናዊ ባለፈው ማክሰኞ ድንገት ብቅ ብለው ከሮይተርስ ጋር ባደረጉት ቃለ ምልልስ፣ በዓባይ ጉዳይ በሚነሳ ጦርነት ግብፅ ኢትዮጵያን ልታሸንፋት እንደማትችል ከመግለጻቸውም ባሻገር፣ የኢትዮጵያን ሰላም ለማናጋት አማፂያንን ትረዳለች ብለዋል፡፡ የግብፁ ፕሬዚዳንት ሆስኒ ሙባረክም ለምላሹ ሳይዘገዩ አማፂያንን መርዳት ፀባያችን አይደለም ሲሉ ባለፈው ሐሙስ ለጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ አስተያየት አፋጣኝ ምላሽ ሰጥተዋል፡፡ ሆኖም የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ግብፅ ይህን እንደምታደርግ ተጨባጭ መረጃ አለኝ እያለ ነው፡፡