South Africa: Ramaphosa Agrees to Help Defuse Nile Dam Crisis


Ethiopia's huge Renaissance dam on the Blue Nile stresses relations with Egypt and Sudan.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has agreed to a request from visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to try to help resolve the dangerous dispute among Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which Ethiopia is building on the Nile. Egypt and Sudan fear the huge dam on the Blue Nile, one of the two main tributaries of the Nile River, will divert much of the supply of Nile water on which Egypt especially is almost totally dependent.

Ramaphosa also made it clear in his response that his government was ready to engage in mediation to try to resolve this or any conflict on the continent.

Abiy on Sunday urged Ramaphosa to take up the issue when the South African president assumes the chair of the African Union in Addis Ababa in February 2020. Abiy has been in South Africa for the first official visit to the country by an Ethiopian prime minister at least since the dawn of democracy in South Africa in 1994.

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have been conducting negotiations on GERD through the mediation of the United States government, but...

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