Ethiopia refuses to participate in Nile negotiation

The Government of Ethiopia has said that it will not participate in the U.S. mediated negotiation with Egypt and Sudan on Great Ethiopian Reconnaissance Dam (GERD).

Ethiopia has been building GERD over the past nine years with the aim of generating electricity using the Abay River, which contributes some 85% water to the Blue Nile River that extends up-to Egypt. Since the beginning, Egypt has been expressing its concern over the construction of the over 5,000 megawatts electricity generation capacity GERD indicating its fear that the amount of water it has been getting from the Blue Nile River will decline.

Since then several negotiations between the Nile Riparian Countries has taken place though no agreement has been reached so far. In what looks a new initiative, over the past few months the United States Treasury and the World Bank have been mediating the talks between the three countries mainly focusing on the water filling period of the GERD.

Meanwhile, they failed to reach consensus. As a result, ministers of water and foreign affairs of the three negotiating countries were planning to meet again this Thursday and Friday in Washington this week to ink a final deal.

The Government of Ethiopia in its statement stated that because it has not concluded consultations on the issue with different stakeholders in Ethiopia, it will not participate in the upcoming negotiation, according to the ruling party affiliated media – FBC – report. The Government of Ethiopia has notified the U.S. Treasury that it will not participate in the meeting on Thursday and Friday, according to the report of FBC.

After the last negotiation in Washington failed to bear fruit about few weeks ago, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia has consulted with the team members of Ethiopian negotiators on the way forward. he also recently sent his special envoy to Egypt with a message to President al-Sisi of Egypt.

Some nationalists in Ethiopia has been claiming that the United States Government is putting pressure on Ethiopia to sign the deal on Friday or face the consequences, which U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited Ethiopia last week, declined.