The dramatic escalation of feud between Ethiopia and Egypt is now shaping itself into a growing confrontation following news that Ethiopia has started to divert the flow of the Blue Nile river to start construction of a giant dam that believed to have a devastating impact on the Nile-dependent Egypt.
Angered by Ethiopia’s belligerent posturing, hundreds of Egyptians organize a protest in front of the Ethiopian embassy in Cairo, last week, demanding for the expulsion of Ethiopian ambassador from the country.
In a live televised meeting with the country’s top politicians, President Mohammed Morsi today vowed that he would take all the necessary measures to ensure the country’s water security and will not allow “one drop” of the Nile water being affected by Ethiopia dam.
He further pledged that “The current situation necessitates unity among our ranks to prevent any threat against Egypt.”
The politicians on their part vowed to challenge the threat imposed on the people of Egypt by the reckless Ethiopian government and in fact proposed to President Morsi to start engaging in all possible acts of hostility against Ethiopia, including but not limited to backing rebels and carrying out sabotage in order to stop it from building the massive dam.
Younis Makhyoun, leader of an ultraconservative Islamist party, said by now “Egypt should start backing rebels in Ethiopia or, as a last resort wait for its completion and destroy the dam.”
Mohamed Bahaa El-Din, Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, said Cairo was not opposed to Ethiopia’s development projects as long as they did not harm downstream countries.
“Crises in the distribution and management of water faced in Egypt these days and the complaints of farmers from a lack of water confirms that we cannot let go of a single drop of water from the quantity that comes to us from the Upper Nile,” he said.
Citing at the findings of a report that put together by a panel of experts from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the impact of the plan to build a $4.7 billion hydroelectric dam, Egypt lashed out at Ethiopia saying Addis Ababa has not done enough research on the impact the dam project on water supplies to Egypt and Sudan.
“The studies weren’t enough compared to the volume of the project,” said a statement released by Egypt’s presidency.
Irrespective of what the report recommends to avoid impacts, Egypt reiterates that it remains “concerned” over its share of water supply.
However, Ethiopia’s water minister says the dam’s construction poses no threat to Egypt or Sudan, which both depend heavily on the Nile.