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June 13, 2021
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Opposition parties discuss Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

They understand the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as a matter of Ethiopia’s sovereignty  to use its share of the water from the Nile. 

Ethiopian Opposition _ Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
Foreign Minister Spokesperson , Dina Mufti (left) and Aregawi Berhe, Tigray Democratic Party leader (right) (Photo : ENA)

borkena 

As Ethiopia is gearing up for the sixth general election, which is expected to be delayed by about two or three weeks, opposition parties reaffirm that they will do their part for the success of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project. 

It was said during a discussion co-organized by National Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Public Participation Coordination Office, whose Director is Aregawi Berhe, chairman of Tigray Democratic Party, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. 

GERD is a question of sovereignty, unity, economic freedom, justice and citizenship obligation, said Dr. Aregawi Berhe, as cited by Ethiopian News Agency (ENA). 

Furthermore, he is cited as saying “political party leaders must understand the importance of the dam and play a leadership role.” 

Members of other political parties reportedly said that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) bears the imprints of all Ethiopians and that they will do their part for its success. 

“External pressure on Ethiopia due to the Renaissance Dam is a matter of sovereignty, and that they will support the government in that regard,”  said the ENA statement. 

Ambassador Ibrahim Edris, transboundary resource advisor within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia,  accused Egypt and Sudan of plotting to exclusively use water from the Nile river.  He presented a paper during the discussion. He recalled that Egypt tried to control Ethiopia by force more than 150 years ago. 

While Egypt claims sole historical right on the Nile, which is reflected in their constitution and foreign policy documents, it says Ethiopia has rain water and should not claim a share of water from the Nile as it is allocated in the 1929 agreement, he added.  

Talking about Ethiopia’s position, he said that Ethiopia believes that the water is a shared resource and that there needs to be equitable use of the water. 

Engineer Gedion Asfaw on his part said the claim that the dam should not be filled before reaching an agreement violates the agreement embodied in the 2015 declaration of principle. 

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is said to be 79 percent completed, and Ethiopia is poised to undertake the second filling of the Dam during the rainy months of July and August of this year. By the end of the second filling, the reservoir will have an additional 13.9 billion cubic meters of water – something Ethiopia is waiting for to start generating power with two turbines. 

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