Ethiopia dismisses psychological warfare

2013-06-11 22:10
(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Addis Ababa - Ethiopia dismissed Egyptian talk of military action against a giant dam it is building on the Nile as "psychological warfare", and said on Tuesday it would defend itself and carry on with the work regardless.

Bellicose rhetoric between two of Africa's most populous and fastest-growing nations has raised fears of conflict over water, though both sides are also pursuing diplomatic compromise over what would be the biggest hydro electric plant on the continent.

Responding to a speech on Monday by President Mohamed Mursi, in which he said Egypt did not want "war" but would keep "all options open" to avoid losing any water, Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said: "This sort of bragging won't divert our attention".

The spokesperson, Dina Mufti, added: "Ethiopia is not intimidated by Egypt's psychological warfare and won't halt the dam's construction, even for seconds".

Egypt's previous military rulers had contingency plans to attack Ethiopian dams that might disrupt the flow of the Nile.

Some politicians were caught on camera last week talking of air strikes or backing Ethiopian rebels after the start of major new work on the project took Cairo by surprise late last month.

Asked if Addis Ababa was looking at measures to defend the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam, Dina said: "No country operates without precautions, let alone Ethiopia, which has a track record of defending its independence from all forces of evil".

Mainly Christian Ethiopia and Muslim Arab Egypt share a long history of suspicion and friction, including over the Nile.

Egypt's foreign minister, who has said he will give up "not a single drop of water", is to visit Addis Ababa. Mursi hoped for a political solution with Ethiopia, a "friendly state", whose demands for economic development he said he understood.

Impact

One bone of contention is a technical analysis of the impact of the $4.7bn dam being built by an Italian firm on the Blue Nile near the border with Sudan, which supports the plan.

Ethiopia says a joint report, still kept under wraps by both governments, supports its assurances it will do "no appreciable harm" to Sudan and Egypt downstream. It has no plan to use water for irrigation and says that once the reservoir is filled, all the river's water will be free to flow through its turbines.

Mursi, however, said Egypt had carried out studies that showed "negative consequences". Less water would flow while the reservoir is filling. Once full, more water may evaporate.

Egypt, whose 84 million people use almost all of the Nile's supply that reaches them to meet their needs, cites colonial-era treaties guaranteeing it the lion's share of the water. Ethiopia and other upstream neighbours say those claims are outdated.

"Ethiopia cannot remain poor," Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom said in a statement. "It must utilise its resources to lift its people out of poverty."

Despite its lack of means, Ethiopia insists it can fund the project itself without help from international lenders wary of the diplomatic dispute. It has been aided by a $1bn loan from China to build power transmission lines.

It says the project, on which work to divert the river temporarily began in May, is 21% complete. With a target generating capacity of 6 000 megawatts, it is part of a plan to make Ethiopia the biggest electricity exporter in Africa.

Read more on:    egypt  |  ethiopia  |  east africa  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The spotlight may be on you and you need to perform. This can be overwhelming and you need to stay as focussed and centred as you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.