Egypt and Ethiopia in the course of a water conflict
Defence Redefined
Published on 18/06/2020 at 12:45

According to a report in the Russian newspaper Vzglyad, the war between Egypt and Ethiopia in the future, if not today, is inevitable.

According to author Yevgeny Krotikov, negotiations between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia were repeated on Sunday 14/06, on a number of issues related to the construction of a huge hydroelectric plant on the Nile.

“Ethiopians are building the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa on the Blue Nile, surpassing the Sayano Shushenskaya hydroelectric plant,” the Russian author said in a statement, noting that Ethiopia will become the second largest producer of electricity in Afghanistan.

The Blue Nile is the main tributary of the Great Nile and the construction of the dam will lead to a serious decomposition in the waters of the valley, where up to 90% of the Egyptian population lives. The Blue Nile joins the White Nile in Sudan and then flows into Egypt.

The Nile is the only source of water for Egypt, which has a population of about 100 million people. According to the Middle East Observatory “al Monitor”, the Egyptians are worried that the dam will dramatically reduce the flow of water in their country. For Ethiopia, however, the dam is vital, and once completed, it will be the largest hydroelectric plant in Africa and the foundation of the country’s electricity needs.

Last year, an open conflict (between Ethiopia and Egypt) was avoided at the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi. On Wednesday 17/06, Egypt called on Ethiopia not to take unilateral action in filling the dam until a tripartite agreement is reached.

A complete rupture in relations between the two countries is very likely. For Ethiopia and its neighboring countries, the huge hydroelectric dam will provide them with energy autonomy, with everything this entails, while for Egypt it will be an incalculable disaster. The reduction of 1 billion kiloliters that the Nile will suffer from the Ethiopian dam will destroy 200,000 hectares of agricultural land, while half a million farmers and stock breeders will lose their jobs.

Sudan supports Ethiopia, which complicates further the relations with Egypt. Over the years, many Egyptian leaders have threatened with military intervention so as to defend the Nile water, but time is running out and developments are underway as the three countries agreed to find a solution by early 2020.

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