World Bulletin / News Desk
Rwanda's ambassador in Addis Ababa on Thursday said that his country backed Ethiopia's construction of a multibillion hydroelectric dam on the Nile River, a project that Egypt fears will affect its main source of water.
Ambassador Joseph Nsengimana said Egypt's position toward Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam harms the interests of East African countries, which seeks to buy electricity to be generated by the dam in the future.
He was quoted by the official Ethiopian news agency as saying that Egypt wants to benefit alone from the Nile water, which, according to him, cannot be done in the 21st century.
Nsengimana added that his country and other East African states eagerly wait for the Renaissance Dam to be completed, pinning hopes on the project to contribute to their development.
He also pointed out to a previously-signed memorandum of understanding between Rwanda and Ethiopia for the purchase of 400 megawatts of electricity after the completion of the Renaissance Dam.
He said Rwanda understands Ethiopia's motivations for constructing the dam, saying it also pins hopes on the project to get its people out of the cycle of poverty.
Relations between Egypt and Ethiopia soured over the latter's construction of the $6.4-billion hydroelectric dam on the upper reaches of the Nile River.
The project has raised alarm bells in Egypt, which relies on the river for almost all of its water needs.
Water distribution among Nile Basin states has long been regulated by a 1959 treaty that gives Egypt and Sudan the lion's share of river water. Ethiopia, for its part, says it has never recognized the treaty.
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