Ethiopia has denounced what it termed as “belligerent threats” towards resolving an ongoing dispute with its neighbours over the sharing of the River Nile waters, following the start of the filling and the operation of its Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The statement came hours after US President Donald Trump suggested Cairo would eventually “blow up” the dam if the deadlock was not resolved.
Trump made the call for a resolution to the standoff during a phone call with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
“And I said it and I say it loud and clear … they’ll blow up that dam. And they have to do something,” he said.
Without directly refer to Trump in the document, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office termed the threats as misguided, unproductive and clear violations of international law.
The statement added that: “Ethiopia will not cave in to aggressions of any kind, nor do we give recognition to a right that is based on colonial treaties.”
In reaction to the statement, the European Union (EU) threw its weight behind the African Union-led negotiations, under the chairmanship of South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ethiopia has in the meantime summoned the US Ambassador to the country with the hopes of getting clarity on Trump’s remarks.
The dispute between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over the filling and operation of the GERD has been dragging for about a decade now.
While it remains unresolved, the reservoir behind the dam began filling in July.
Egypt relies on the Nile for 90% of its domestic water use and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says 85% of the Nile waters originate from Ethiopia.
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