The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, announced that Addis Ababa is committed to filling the Renaissance Dam on scheduled date, pledging more water projects along the Nilecourse.
Ethiopia is intransigent in mobilization the dam’s second fillingnext July, despite Khartoum and Cairo describing the step as a direct threat to their national security.
In a message to Ethiopians on the occasion of the Easter holidays, Ahmed said that his country “looks forward to the implementation of the second filling of the dam’s lake on the Blue Nile in July.”
Ethiopia is set to seize 13.5 billion cubic meters of water in the upcoming dam filling process.
Ahmed pointed out that “the challenges facing Ethiopia will not prevent it from implementing more projects.”
Sudan says that the second filling of the dam, which is located close to its borders, threatens the lives of 20 million Sudanese living on the banks of the Nile.
The irrigation authorities in Sudan have warned of the scarcity of water affecting its water reservoir during the period of April—September 2021.
Khartoum and Cairo fear that Ethiopia will be able to control Nile waters once it completes its project.
The dam holds 74 billion cubic meters, a quantity of water roughly equivalent to Sudan and Egypt’s annual share of the Nile River.
Sudan and Egypt’s opposition is based on agreements that oblige Ethiopia to obtain approval, share information and operationapproval for any of its water projects.
Ethiopia however says that agreements made during the colonial era are not binding; something which the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced as efforts to disavow previous agreements.
“This means compromising the Ethiopian sovereignty over the Benishangul region, which was transferred from Sudan according to some of these agreements “, the Ministry said.
Ethiopia is building the Renaissance Dam on the region that Sudan lost as a result of a colonial agreement in 1902.
In exchange for handing the region to Ethiopia, the 1902 agreement set a condition for Ethiopia to obtain the consent of Sudan and Egypt before establishing any water projects on the Blue Nile.