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African, Sudanese NGOs raise alarm bell over Ethiopian dam dispute 

The long-running dispute between the governments of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over the building, filling, and operating of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is raising serious concerns about the impact of the Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant on Sudan and Egypt. In an urgent statement yesterday, 22 NGOs warned for military confrontations between the three countries.

The Ethiopian mega dam project* is currently in the final phase of its construction. In August last year, Addis Ababa unilaterally began filling the dam reservoir. Tripartite talks under auspices of the Africa Union have reached deadlock upon deadlock.

The 22 civil society organisations “wish to ring the alarm bell about the tense situation that prevail between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan over the construction and operating of GERD.

“It is of great concern that some media pronouncement from top level authorities in these countries show no compromises, often hinting that the situation could degenerate into full-blown military confrontations,” they state.

With its storage capacity of 74 billion cubic meters GERD is, therefore, the largest dam in Africa and the 15th largest hydroelectric power plant in the world. The project is expected to have profound effects on the future of the three countries and the African sub-region. While it represents an important development opportunity for Ethiopia as its prime owner, the impact of GERD on Sudan and Egypt cannot be overlooked.


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