ETHIOPIA WANTS TO ASSET EGYPT. A mega dam can trigger a new conflict

As if there were not enough crises, a new front opens in Africa and involves Ethiopia and Egypt. The cause of the dispute stems from the mists of time: the River Nile.

The Nile originates from the confluence of two rivers: the White Nile, which originates in the region of Lake Victoria, between Uganda and Tanzania and Kenya, and the Blue Nile which originates in Ethiopia, from Lake Tana.

Recall that Ethiopia is currently governed by a pro-Chinese communist government. Now, with the help of Beijing, the Addis Ababa government has decided to build a huge dam on the Blue Nile, called "The Ethiopian Renaissance Dam", which should provide water and energy resources to the downstream countries. However, since the time of the pharaohs, the Nile has been the life for Egypt, and in Cairo Al Sisi fears that the closure and too rapid filling of the dam may deprive Egypt of water for drinking and agricultural uses. While Ethiopia wants to fill the dam in 5-7 years, the downstream countries have asked to fill the dam in 12-20 years. Not only that, they asked Ethiopia to commit to guaranteeing a minimum flow of water. Otherwise 10 million Egyptians risk living in water scarcity, and 1.2 million farms to disappear.

The dam, now 70% -75% complete, is needed to provide Ethiopia with energy it wants to use in its industrial development, as a low-cost "screwdriver country" for China, already present with numerous textile factories. If Addis Ababa has relied on Beijing, Al Sisi has leaned on the USA, while Russia has acted as a mediator organizing new talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. However, these meetings began on June 9 and failed , according to Sudan. Ethiopia wants to unilaterally start filling the basin in July, but this would endanger the countries downstream and Cairo already has social problems related to Covid-19. If Ethiopia continued on this road to Egypt there would be no other possibility than a military reaction, as well-informed sources observe. Moreover, it would be a matter of life or death that would not leave Al Sisi alternatives.

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The article ETHIOPIA WANTS TO ASSET EGYPT. A mega dam can start a new conflict comes from .

This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL on Fri, 19 Jun 2020 17:03:40 +0000.