A massive dam under construction on the Nile River has sparked fresh tensions between Ethiopia and Egypt as both sides accused each other in a growing diplomatic row. Earlier this week, Ethiopia accused Egypt of trying to maintain its grip over the waters of the Nile and rejected Cairo's conditions for filling a reservoir.
In return, Egypt accused Ethiopia of violating the Declaration of Principles, saying that it "will have negative consequences for stability in the region." Last week, Egypt said the talks were deadlocked, accusing Ethiopia of "inflexibility" and calling for international mediation. Ethiopia rejected that call. Trilateral talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have been deadlocked for more than a year before restarting in Cairo earlier in the day.Egypt fears the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will cut into its share of the river, which provides virtually all the fresh water for the arid country of 100 million people. Ethiopia, which has the same sized population, says the dam is essential for its economic development.
The dam project, launched by Ethiopia in 2012, is designed to feed a hydroelectric project to produce 6,000 megawatts of power, equal to six nuclear power plants. The construction of GERD, the largest hydroelectric dam project in Africa, has poisoned relations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. The dispute centers on the right to control a section of the Nile that stretches 6,695 kilometers from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean and is the economic lifeblood of all three countries.