The east African bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Sunday urged dialogue and compromise to bring a solution regarding a hydro dam being constructed by Ethiopia.
The mega hydro dam named Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) which is currently under construction on the Blue Nile river, is a major tributary to the world’s longest Nile River that flows all the way to the two lower riparian countries Sudan and Egypt.
“The Executive Secretary of the IGAD, Workneh Gebeyehu, encourages dialogue and compromise in bringing a solution to the negotiations on the GERD between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt,” said an IGAD press statement. “The negotiation of an arrangement to pave the way for a win-win agreement is the only solution for all,” the press statement further said.
The IGAD statement urged all parties involved in GERD negotiations to steer clear of any measures that could contribute to exacerbating tensions. The GERD, which was commenced back in April 2011 will be regarded as Africa’s largest dam upon completion. The dam has been a major issue among Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.
“The region can’t afford tensions and we should stay away from anything that would contribute to building them up between neighboring countries that share history and are bound by a common destiny,” the Executive Secretary of IGAD said.
“IGAD is confident in the African Union led process to bringing about a solution acceptable to Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, the Executive Secretary further said.
In July, Ethiopia announced the first-year filling of the dam to be under construction on the Blue Nile river.
Egypt, a downstream Nile Basin country, has been frequently expressing its concern that Ethiopia’s mega-dam might affect its share of the river water, while the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has repeatedly vowed that the dam will not harm Egypt or Sudan, saying the dam project would “ensure an equitable and reasonable” utilization of the river waters among the three concerned countries.