Khartoum — A senior Saudi Arabian official unleashed a barrage of attack against Ethiopia saying that the Horn of Africa nation is posing a threat to the Nile water rights of Egypt and Sudan.
“The [Grand] Renaissance dam has its capacity of flood waters reaching more than 70 billion cubic meters of water, and is located at an altitude of 700 meters and if it collapsed then Khartoum will drown completely and the impact will even reach the Aswan Dam,” the Saudi deputy defense minister Khalid Bin Sultan said at the meetings of the Arab Water Council in Cairo.
“Egypt is the most affected party from the Ethiopian Renaissance dam because they have no alternative water source compared to other Nile Basin countries and the establishment of the dam 12 kilometers from the Sudanese border is for political plotting rather than for economic gain and constitutes a threat to Egyptian and Sudanese national security “the Saudi official said.
The massive $4.8 billion dam is under construction and is scheduled for completion in 2015. It lies close to Sudan’s eastern borders and has a power generating capacity of 6,000MW and when completed it will enable Ethiopia to export more power to its neighbors.
Egypt fears that the Nile dam will reduce the flow of the river’s waters further downstream and Addis Ababa has long complained that Cairo was pressuring donor countries and international lenders to withhold funding.
An international panel of experts is set to announce its findings on the impact of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile’s flow in May 2013.
Ethiopia’s long-ruling leader died half a year ago, but it seems Meles Zenawi still holds on to power. In the capital, his face looks down from hundreds of posters plastered on walls, and government representatives vow to implement the late Meles’ vision without alteration.
Meles, who held tight control of the country since 1991, died Aug. 20 at the age of 57. A major U.S. counter-terrorism ally, Meles was credited with uplifting the country’s poor, but he was condemned for human rights abuses and crushing the opposition.
Since his sudden death, Meles’ pictures and past statements have become commonplace throughout Addis Ababa, the capital, and smaller cities and towns.
“Our great leader … we will never forget you!” reads one gigantic billboard erected in the capital’s main street.
An upcoming meeting of the congress is billed as an opportunity to achieve goals, speed up development and build democracy “based on the vision of Meles.” That vision can be boiled down to two things: economic advancement, and a tight hold on political power.
Ethiopia qualifies for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final by beating Sudan 2-0
NEW YORK — Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has pledged to maintain the controversial policies of his predecessor, Meles Zenawi, who died last month. The Ethiopian leader outlined his views on foreign and domestic issues in an interview with VOA’s Peter Heinlein in New York.
In a 30-minute conversation, Prime Minister Hailemariam discussed topics from Ethiopia’s strained ties with neighboring Eritrea, relations with China and the United States, and the government’s clampdown on media.
The interview was Hailemariam’s first since taking office last week. It took place in New York, on the eve of his first address as prime minister to the United Nations General Assembly.
Meskel Celebration Live from Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia