Egypt Sees a Dam Confrontation

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“Ethiopia began diverting the course of the Blue Nile, the primary source of Egypt’s Nile water, on May 28 in another step towards construction of its massive 4.2-billion dollar hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam project. When complete, the dam will be capable of producing 6,000 megawatts of electricity, making it Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant.

Egypt, fearing the dam’s potentially adverse impact on its traditional share of Nile water, reacted to the move with indignation and outrage. Local headlines trumpeted the “imminent threat” posed by the dam to Egypt’s water security.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, along with political figures from across the spectrum, rushed to express their readiness to defend the country’s access to Nile water.

Speaking before an all-Islamist audience at a Jun. 11 conference devoted specifically to the Ethiopia dam crisis, Morsi – who hails from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood – called for a diplomatic resolution, but warned that “all options” remained open in terms of a response.

“We are not calling for war, but we will never allow our water security…to come under threat,” he declared.

Morsi went on to call for “national reconciliation,” urging Egypt’s rival political camps – the ruling Islamists and secular opposition – to forget their differences in order to counter looming threats to the Nile.”

Read more: IPS


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