Egypt Should Abandon Antagonistic Ultimatum on GERD, Analyst Says

Addis Ababa: Egypt should abandon its antagonistic ultimatum over the negotiations of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as the water flow from the filling doesn't have significant damage, an American political economic analyst for Africa said. The analyst Lawrence Freeman told ENA that there is no reasonable objection Egypt has towards the GERD. 'In my understanding, there is actually no damage in terms of reduction in the water flow from the fillings. So there is no real concern,' the analyst stated. The over a decade negotiation over the GERD has unfortunately not yet resulted in final agreement due to the Egyptian unreasonable objection towards the dam, Freeman added. Recall that the recent four-round talks on the dam conducted at the end of December 2023, did not produce any different results. In its statement, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs downplayed Egypt's approach on the trilateral negotiation that violates the UN Charter and the Constitutive Act of the African Union. Ethiopi a also rejected the misrepresentation of its positions by Egypt. Noting that the filling of GERD is approximately 41.5 billion cubic meters, Freeman underscored that this has not reduced the flow of the Nile water. So, there is no real concern in this respect, the American analyst revealed. The real discussion should, therefore, be on how to use the power of GERD and also the potential of more hydrological power plants in the Nile Basin, he elaborated. 'They should sit down and get that discussion, rather than being involved in these antagonistic ultimatum and getting stuck in the old mode of historical rights. Let's think about how the 10 nations in the Nile Basin can be developed together.' According to him, discussions should also focus on what kinds of new infrastructure developments can be built to improve the living standard of all the nations of the Nile Basin. There are a lot of political forces that do not want to see Ethiopia emerge as a major nation on the continent, the analyst noted. ''The re are probably sections of the Egyptian leadership who want to make sure that Ethiopia does not fully reach its potential because it will in their view, which is a wrong view, will diminish their political influence. That's a problem.'' The other problem on the issue of GERD and Nile River in general is the perception that God gave the right down to the downstream countries, mostly Egypt, he said. The reality is that the Nile water comes from Ethiopia, Freeman pointed out. In fact, 'I don't see any point anymore in discussing the so-called historical rights of the Nile.' This is the primary problem to reach an agreement and the question should be on how we develop these significant bodies of water for the progress of humanity, he stated. These are the historical agreements or historical water treaties Ethiopia cannot be accountable for as it was not present, the analyst underlined. Freeman pointed out that there has always been attempt to prevent Ethiopia from developing the Blue Nile. Source: Ethiopi an News Agency