Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

5 January 2014

East Africa: Egypt, Ethiopia Lock Horns Over Mega Dam

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"The solution is not to wrestle with each other, but to find innovative and constructive solutions and look to the future," Fite said.

During earlier negotiations in November, Egypt called for international experts to help prepare a new study on the regional impact of the 4.2 billion dollars dam.

Egypt also said it wanted trusted international consultancies to look into how the hydropower project on a tributary of the Nile River will affect the waterway's flow, as well as safety issues. Ethiopia, however, countered that including such a group was unnecessary, after global experts completed a report earlier this year.

Sudan backs the dam and has said that it will bring many blessings and benefits for it, Fite told the Parliamentarians.

The stance of Sudan on the feasibility of the dam and its fertile negotiation on the trans-boundary river is appreciable. It will benefit from the dam, as it benefits from Tekeze Dam, according to Alemayehu.

Ethiopia needs to build on the goodwill it has gained from the Sudanese side, Girma Seifu, the lone opposition member of Parliament, who represents Medrek - a coalition of four parties, which has recently progressed to a front - said.

"As it now stands, it is goodwill and hence nothing is binding," he said. "Thus, Ethiopia needs to further win Sudan to its side."

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