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Egypt: Ethiopia begins disputed filling of dam amid tensions

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CAIRO (AP) — Egypt stated Monday that Ethiopia has reported it’s beginning to fill the reservoir of a controversial dam on the Nile River’s foremost tributary, a transfer prone to improve tensions forward of a U.N. Safety Council assembly on the dispute, which additionally consists of Sudan.

An announcement by Egypt’s Irrigation Ministry stated Minister Mohammed Abdel-Aty acquired an official discover from his Ethiopian counterpart notifying Egypt of the reservoir filling for the second yr.

The assertion stated Egypt categorically rejects such a “unilateral transfer,” calling it a “clear and grave violation” of a 2015 settlement. It stated the transfer is a menace to area’s safety and peace.

The U.N. Safety Council has scheduled a Thursday assembly to debate the decade-long dispute over the dam. There was mounting tensions in current months after the most recent spherical of African Union-brokered negotiations in April didn’t make progress.

Overseas ministers of Egypt and Sudan are in New York to attend the Safety Council assembly.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi warned Ethiopia earlier this yr that his authorities wouldn’t tolerate any strikes by Addis Ababa that would cut back Egypt’s share of water from the Nile. He stated that “all choices are open” ought to Egypt’s share be “touched,” urging Addis Ababa to cooperate with Cairo and Khartoum to avert any battle.

The dam is 80% full and is anticipated to succeed in full producing capability in 2023, making it Africa’s largest hydroelectric energy plant and the world’s seventh-largest, based on stories in Ethiopia’s state media.

The dispute now facilities on how shortly Ethiopia ought to fill and replenish the reservoir and the way a lot water it releases downstream in case of a multi-year drought.

Egypt and Sudan have repeatedly known as for the U.S., the U.N, and European Union to assist attain a legally binding deal that may spell out how the dam is operated and stuffed.

Egypt, which depends on the Nile for greater than 90% of its water provides, fears a devastating affect if the dam is operated with out taking its wants under consideration. Ethiopia says the $5 billion dam on the Blue Nile is crucial, arguing that the overwhelming majority of its folks lack electrical energy.

Sudan desires Ethiopia to coordinate and share knowledge on the dam’s operation to keep away from flooding and defend its personal power-generating dams on the Blue Nile, the principle tributary of the Nile.

The Blue Nile meets the White Nile in Khartoum, earlier than winding northward by means of Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea.

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