Saturday, June 08, 2013

Ethiopia says it won't bow to Egyptian pressure over Nile dam

(June 08, 2013, (Reuters))--Ethiopia's construction of a dam on a tributary of the Nile is not open to negotiation, the Addis Ababa government said on Friday, as a confrontation with Egypt over the project escalated.

The Cairo government said this week it would demand the project be halted, after its southern neighbour began diverting a stretch of the river to make way for the $4.7 billion dam that will become Africa's biggest hydropower plant.

Ethiopia said it had summoned Egypt's ambassador to explain comments by politicians in Cairo advising Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi to take hostile action to halt the building of the dam. A spokesman for Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Cairo's position on the dam was unclear and its concerns were often not based on science.

"In any case, demanding a halt is simply a non-starter. It's not subject to negotiation," spokesman Getachew Reda told Reuters. Countries that share the Nile have argued over the use of its waters for decades, repeatedly raising fears that the disputes could eventually boil over into war. Read more from Reuters »

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