Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MoFA) rebuffed Egypt’s media campaign to internationalize the issue of the Ethiopian dam project on the Tikur Abay (Blue Nile).
At the press briefing held on Thursday March 27 Ambassador Dina Mufti, spokesman of MoFA, said that Cairo had launched a media campaign aimed at turning international opinion against the dam project [Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)].
After it walked out from the tripartite negotiation with Sudan and Ethiopia, the other downstream countries, the latest strategy that Egypt is implementing is an open campaign against the GERD project that was launched three years ago.
Egypt has visited several countries including the upstream countries to lobby them to stand against the project, but experts said that it was not fruitful.
The Ethiopian government including the PM Hailemariam Desalgn disclosed that the country will never stop the project and will not allow anyone to interfere with the project.
Egypt is now expressing its intention to pressure Ethiopia about the project via international organizations.
Egyptian veteran officials and politicians are still talking about the so called ‘historical rights’ on the river Abay/ Nile, even though the majority of Nile basin countries agreed on the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA), to develop the river on the basis of mutual benefit.
But Egypt still wants to stick on the old accords that were signed between Egypt and Great Britain in 1929 and with Sudan in 1959, even though at the time Ethiopia, who was never colonized, rejected the deal that gave a high volume of the water for the North African populated nation.
Currently Egyptian officials are saying that they are going to international organizations like the United Nations and International Court of Justice to intervene on the Ethiopian project.
At his latest press conference Hailemariam strongly said that there is not any international organization that can force Ethiopia to halt the project. On different occasions the Ethiopian government has stressed that the GERD project will never harm the other downstream countries (Sudan and Egypt), and it will have several economic and social benefits for them. International experts including some Egyptians have also argued against Egypt’s fear about the project. These experts said that Egyptian politicians are using the dam project for political purposes other than the reality.
The project is fully financed by the public and will generate 6,000 MW of electric power, which will be the first ever huge hydro power project for the continent.