Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia discussed on BBC Newshour

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Has turned to Ethiopia now and rising tension over the huge damn. The country is building across the river Nile for Ethiopia, the grand renaissance. Stan will provide a vast amount of hydro electric power when it's up and running, but Sudan and Egypt which lie down stream or worried, it'll shrink, they're freshwater lifeline and what is an arid part of the world? Talks to reach some sort of deal on water flow through the dam has been going on for a decade. Well this week they broke up again without agreement, and then Egypt and Sudan accused Ethiopia of deliberately filling up the reservoir behind the DAB. Thus lowering water levels in the Blue Nile will in a moment we'll hear from the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry but first to Africa Regional editor Will Ross. He joins us. On the line and where we will we'll, We will get Ethiopia's version of events shortly, I say. But what are Egypt and Sudan saying exactly Well. Egypt and Sudan have slightly different positions. But if we look at Egypt first, it's always being against the building off this damn, and it was furious when the construction began. Back in 2011 without any agreement with the downstream countries, And in fact, when Hosni Mubarak was in power, he threatened to bomb any country that constructed or stopped the water flowing to Egypt, so they've always maintained a very, very strong stands. It really goes back to colonial treaties back in 1929 in 1959 that basically the 1st 1 gave Egypt the right to veto any projects upstream. In the 1959 agreement, Egypt and Sudan came together and agree to share the Nile's waters. But Ethiopia was not part of that deal s O. Even now, you know that the Egyptians Ah, sounding very angry of what's been going on, and that's you know, one of the reasons why there hasn't been an agreement on Sudan used to be fairly in favor really of the project because it saw that it would reduce flooding in Sudan. And it would also allow Sudan to get fairly cheap electricity from Ethiopia. But in recent months as the dispute has gone on, Sudan has been seen to really side with Egypt and have these concerns that Ethiopia sort of going alone. Bond for Ethiopia. How big a deal is this? Damn how important It's hugely important in terms ofthe the creation ofthe enough electricity to allow the country to develop much faster. So that's being the real underpinning reason for the whole damn isto. T push the country forward in terms of the electricity and allow development across the country. But it's also Mohr than that It's become a really source of pride for Ethiopians on Ethiopian people are really invested in the project because many of them have contributed financially to it. They've had money taken from Their salaries, another people of volunteered funds, so it's a source of pride for Ethiopians. It's also a hugely important project for the current Prime minister, Abby Ahmed. Who's under quite a lot of political pressure at the moment, and if, for some reason, he was seen to lose this kind of diplomatic spat. It would be ah, huge blow for him politically, but also for Ethiopians. They simply I don't think we'll accept the fact that Sudan and Egypt can tell them what to do. Well, thank you very much, indeed. Will Ross there Well, Dina Mufti is a former Ethiopian ambassador to Egypt. Now a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry. Why has the reservoir of Thie damn, apparently begun to fill You know, there is a huge rainfall in the extreme areas in Ethiopia, and there is a huge flood. Now what you can be on the satellites is actually I hope your reign the impact off that flood. That can so more in flow down the outflow otherwise is not an intended one is not something that It was closed down the damn That's what I want to tell you. So there's no deliberate attempt to fill up the reservoir by slowing down the flow of water. That's right. Is there going to be any sort of agreement with Egypt and Sudan? But you are committed to finding some sort of compromise. Are you Definitely Cuba is always committed was always ready to make way for a while. Why we have been looking that good. Definitely we are committed to reaching a LA agreement and we want to instill confidence in danced countries that is Egypt. We want to make sure that doesn't have their interest in the way are not intending to have anyone. We rather want tonight to be so oppressing noted. Author Confrontations. Well, Egypt does seem to be threatening some sort of action. Some sort of confrontation. Are you worried about some of the language coming out of Cairo? Come in those languages do not help Andi. They don't help to the process. You know, Bistrica treat the people understand to make together while others. I love you know, are blinded by night River Natural River that flows from each European, which tickets and comes from Ethiopia, You know it's flows from Ethiopia about major You know, we don't need to go for confrontation, because it's not in anyone's interest to hear to have confrontations. I mean, frightening and all those traveling crazes do not panic. Can you understand that why Egypt and Sudan may particularly Egypt. Why it is worried about the flow of water. I mean, if there is normal rainfall Then it may well be that there is enough water flowing down the Nile. But if there is a drought, and we know that the climate is changing, how can you guarantee that Egypt will receive the same amount of water? The job was always sensitive to the concerns off the downstream countries Egypt and what On that We don't intend to help them. We have been saying this several times to call. You know the construction of systematic stop why? I've been always floating them who have been sharing them that as And we are always trying to instill confidence in them. As to the concern. They have to express it, But I think it's ah, unfounded concern. I'm in simply the dumb. Is that it is the water that is regulated amount off the floor tow downstream countries simply Saddam hits the Taliban and flows down. Teo Buzz..

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