Ethiopia 'determined to share Nile water'

"Although Ethiopia is the source of 86 percent of Nile water, it believes that the Nile is a common resource," Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said.

Ethiopia 'determined to share Nile water'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on Friday that his country was determined to share Nile River water with all riparian states.

"Ethiopia's stand with regard to Nile water is clear," Desalegn told a press conference for foreign correspondents at his office in Addis Ababa.

"Although Ethiopia is the source of 86 percent of Nile water, it believes that the Nile is a common resource," he said.

In recent years, tension has marred relations between Ethiopia and Egypt over the former's construction of a major dam project on the upper reaches of the Nile River, which represents Egypt's primary water source.

Ethiopia says the dam is necessary for its national development plans and insists the project won't impact Egypt's traditional share of Nile water, which has long been governed by a colonial-era water-sharing treaty that Addis Ababa has never acknowledged.

Desalegn said that Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan should join forces to utilize the Nile's potential through understanding and dialogue.

"Ethiopia has no intention to harm any riparian country; the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will never hurt Egypt or Sudan," he asserted.

Last month, Egypt and Ethiopia agreed – on the sidelines of last month's African summit in Equatorial Guinea – to resume tripartite talks with Sudan on the Ethiopian mega-dam.

"We appreciate the new spirit of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and we assure that this spirit will further be strengthened," Desalegn said.

He said the tripartite dialogue would look into the issue of the hydrology simulation model, which has been recommended by an international panel of experts.

-South Sudan-

Turning to South Sudan, Desalegn said that the warring parties of that country were already committed to continuing talks aimed at ending the crisis.

"There is no need of a new strategy for South Sudan because the case is not complicated. The discussion will continue in the near future," he said.

The premier voiced hope that the next round of talks would lead to the ultimate resolution of the crises. However, he said, the people of South Sudan would not be endlessly killed by the warring parties.

"If the killing continues, all should take note that the East African countries will not stand idle," he said.

"The international community is ready to impose sanctions based on the recommendation of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)'s decision," he added.

South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when Kiir accused his sacked vice-president, Riek Machar, of trying to overthrow his regime.

Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have since been displaced in subsequent fighting, while large swathes of the population continue to face a serious humanitarian crisis as a result of the violence.

In May, the country's warring rivals signed a peace deal brokered by IGAD, a Djibouti-based East African trade bloc. The move followed an earlier cessation-of-hostilities agreement inked in January.

Neither deal, however, has succeeded in curtailing hostilities, while IGAD-mediated peace talks appear to have ground to a halt.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Temmuz 2014, 17:56