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No Progress on Egypt-Ethiopia Dam Negotiations

Illustration of Ethiopia's GERD Dam.
Illustration of Ethiopia's GERD Dam.

Illustration of Ethiopia’s GERD Dam.

On 10 May, the Egyptian Minster of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy stated he had not received a response regarding suggestions on the row over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) to Ethiopian FM Tedros Adhanom. The two ministers met on the sidelines of the EU-Africa summit in Brussels April. Egyptian Prime Minster Ibrahim Mehleb stressed Ethiopia has the right to produce electricity, but must do so without harming Egypt’s water security.

The Egyptian statements follow the recent detention of three Egyptians accused of gathering intelligence on Ethiopia’s dam system. An individual was arrested at Adobo Dam while the other two were detained while they were trying to travel to GERD.

The GERD hydroelectric dam being constructed on the headwaters of the Nile River in Ethiopia. It will be the largest dam in Africa, coming in at over 5,900 feet (1,800 meters) long, and it will have a capacity of over 2.6 billion gallons of water.

Neither Ethiopia or Egypt can afford a major conflict right now. However a major change in the flow of Nile waters through Sudan and Egypt could be become the catalyst for limited hostilities in the coming years.

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