Ethiopia blames ousted Egyptian regime over Nile water crises

Ethiopia and the Nile River Basin
Nile River Basin

Tesfa-Alem Tekle,  (ST) – Ethiopian house speaker on 30 April said that the former Egyptian regime, over-thrown in a popular uprising earlier this year, was responsible for overshadowing relations with Ethiopia and creating tension over the issue of the Nile water.

House Speaker, Abadula Gemeda, made the remarks when he conferred with a visiting popular Egyptian Public Diplomacy delegation.

“The former Egyptian government is accountable for majority of the misunderstanding that occurred between Ethiopia and Egypt” Gemeda said.

He called on Sudan and Egypt to cooperate with upstream countries on the equitable utilisation of the River Nile.

“All Nile basin countries have the right to use the Nile water equitable, he said, “and Egypt and Sudan need to collaborate for the realization of a win-win approach, which is the only solution to Nile waters issue.”

The house speaker told the Egyptian delegation that the Egyptian and Sudanese people need to clearly understand that the Mega Dam Ethiopia intends to build in Nile River will not harm them.

Ethiopia argues that the recently launched US$4.7 billion massive hydro power project will eventually benefit Sudan and Egypt and other regional countries.

“In addition to obtaining electric power supply, Sudan and Egypt could also benefit from enough and regulated water flow and decreased siltation” foreign affairs Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said at a news conference last week.

According to him, 19 billion cubic meters of water is wasted through evaporation in downstream countries while the Grand Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia would lower the number to 0.4 billion cubic meters.

The 48-member Egyptian delegation is here for five day visit with a mission of paving the way for stronger ties between Egypt and Ethiopia after the fall of the former regime.

The Ethiopian government recently said that relation between Ethiopia and Egypt has improved since the downfall of Hosni Mubarak’s government.

The Egyptian delegation includes three presidential candidates, a number of prominent political figures, including Osama Al Ghazaly Harb, the head of Al Gabha party, Alsayed Elbadawy the head of Al Wafd party, Hussein Ibrahim of the Muslim Brotherhood, Abdel Hakim Abdel Nasser the son of former president Gamal Abdel Nasser, journalists , and representatives from the 25 January Revolution Youth.