Ethiopia plans to move forward with a plan to fill a massive reservoir behind a new dam on the Nile River. And, Egypt is calling the move a danger to peace and security in the territory and hence seeks UN‘s Help.
As we know, Egypt relies on the Nile for roughly 90 per cent of its freshwater. And therefore, is concerned that the dam and its reservoir, will reduce its supply. The dam and reservoir have a capacity of 74 bn cubic meters. Egypt says it could lose about 22 per cent of its flow. As a consequence, it could see thousands of acres of farmland become of no use.
Ethiopia has vowed to fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) over the period four to seven years. It plans to fill the dam in July, which has initiated diplomatic pressure from the Egyptians to stop from going ahead.
How Egypt Wishes To Solve The Issue
Egypt is trying to rally as much international support, including most importantly and most obviously from the U.S. says William Davison, International Crisis Group’s analyst for Ethiopia, during an interview. It seems to think that will either get Ethiopia to pause its filling plans or get Ethiopia to sign an agreement which it otherwise not want to do.
The US Steps In
Tensions among the Nile River countries are also echoed in the U.S. where views are different.
Recently, the White House’s NSC asked Ethiopia to strike a ‘fair deal’ before going ahead to fill the dam. Some technical issues have been solved — time to get the GERD deal sealed before filling it with Nile River water, the NSC tweeted.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has been a mediator in talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, but the talks have failed to produce a deal. Recent disagreements have centred on whether the agreement would be legally binding. Sudan and Egypt want it to have the force of law; Ethiopia does not. But some U.S. legislators are selling the importance of the dam.