Ethiopia skips latest US talks with Egypt over dam dispute

Ethiopia skips latest US talks with Egypt over dam dispute
A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency on February 22, 2020 shows Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C) meeting with Ethiopia's former prime minister and special envoy Hailemariam Desalegn (C-L) at the presidential palace in the capital Cairo, accompanied by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (C-R) and intelligence chief Abbas Kamel (2nd-R). (AFP)
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Updated 26 February 2020

Ethiopia skips latest US talks with Egypt over dam dispute

Ethiopia skips latest US talks with Egypt over dam dispute
  • The dispute over the dam pits Ethiopia’s desire to pull millions out of poverty against Egypt’s concerns over a critical water supply
  • The US became involved in the talks after Egypt’s invitation

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia will skip the latest round of US-brokered talks this week on a disputed Nile dam project with Egypt and Sudan, the country’s water ministry announced Wednesday.
A final deal on the massive Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam had been expected this month, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in his Ethiopia visit last week that an agreement now might take months as “a great deal of work remains.”
The dispute over what will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam pits Ethiopia’s desire to pull millions out of poverty against Egypt’s concerns over a critical water supply.
Ethiopia will skip the talks in Washington on Thursday and Friday “because the country’s delegation hasn’t concluded its consultation with relevant stakeholders,” the ministry of water, irrigation and energy said on its Facebook page. “The decision has been communicated with the US Treasury secretary.”
The announcement came amid widespread concerns in Ethiopia that its delegation has been pressured by the US to reach a deal on $4.6 billion dam that is nearing completion. The US became involved in the talks after Egypt’s invitation.
“Ethiopia will never sign on an agreement that will surrender its right to use the Nile River,” the Ethiopian ambassador to the US, Fitsum Arega, said on Twitter.
Egypt wants the dam to be filled more slowly to reduce restrictions on the flow of the Nile.
Ethiopia says the dam is needed to provide electricity for development. In January it announced that it will start filling the dam, now more than 70% complete, in July at the start of the rainy season.
“There was lots of discomfort recently due to the behavior and changing role of the US among policy makers in Ethiopia,” political analyst Abel Abate Demissie told The Associated Press.


UN, Ethiopia sign deal for humanitarian access to Tigray

Updated 02 December 2020

UN, Ethiopia sign deal for humanitarian access to Tigray

UN, Ethiopia sign deal for humanitarian access to Tigray
  • For weeks, the UN and others have pleaded for aid access amid reports of food, medicines and other supplies running out

NAIROBI, Kenya: The United Nations says it and Ethiopia’s government have signed a deal to allow “unimpeded” humanitarian access to the embattled Tigray region, at least the parts under federal government control.
This will allow the first aid to the region of 6 million people that has been cut off during fighting that began a month ago between the federal and Tigray regional governments. Each regards the other as illegal in a power struggle that has been months in the making.
For weeks, the UN and others have pleaded for aid access amid reports of food, medicines and other supplies running out.
A UN humanitarian spokesman says the first mission to carry out a needs assessment begins Wednesday.