Egypt slams Ethiopia's unilateral operation of Renaissance Dam
Egypt denounced on Sunday the unilateral launch of operations of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a multi-million controversial dam built by Ethiopia on the Nile River.
"This is another step violating Ethiopia's obligations under the 2015 Declaration of Principles signed by the Ethiopian Prime Minister," the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Facebook.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed inaugurated the start of electricity production at the dam on Sunday. Ethiopia has been building the dam since 2011 despite the opposition of Sudan and Egypt, Ethiopia's downstream neighbours, who view the project as a threat to their share of Nile waters. The filling of the dam began in July 2020.
Around $4 billion were invested in the dam. It is set to be the largest hydroelectric project in Africa but has crystallised regional tensions around water rights.
Ethiopia argued the project, which will generate over 5,000 megawatts of electricity, was essential to meet its development needs.
Several rounds of negotiations took place and broke down between the three countries since signing a joint Declaration of Principles in 2015, a non-binding agreement in which the three countries agreed to cooperate and communicate on sharing the Nile waters.