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United States, the World Bank reportedly threatening Ethiopia over dam talk
The United States and The World reportedly standing in guard of Egyptian interest. Their proposals in the negotiation in Washington said to be one that affects the interest of Ethiopia.
January 30, 2020

The Water Ministers and Foreign Ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, as well as experts, have been discussing the final document to be signed regarding Ethiopian Dam operation between January 28 and 29 in Washington DC. And it was expected to be the final one. As it turns out, that does not seem to be the case.

Wazema radio reported on Thursday that negotiating parties failed to make a final agreement. Proposals for water release from the dam in the event of drought are said to be the principal points of disagreement. 

Egypt and the “Observers” (The World Bank and The United States) views regarding how to release water during drought stands against the interest and sovereignty of Ethiopia. At the same time, it empowers Egypt to the extent of dictating terms on ways of releasing water, according to the report by Wazema.

The negotiation is extended for the third day, but it is unclear if it will continue until an agreement is reached or not.

Wazema Radio cited insider information to report those Ethiopian negotiators experienced pressure and threat to sign the document.

The observers (US Department of Treasury and The World Bank), and Egyptians negotiators reportedly warned Ethiopian negotiators that there would be a consequence to Ethiopia if it fails to sign the agreement based on their proposal.

There appear to be diverging views among Ethiopian negotiators. Some want to return to Ethiopia before signing the document. Those who favor it argue that it is against international law to sign it under pressure and need to have extensive consultation back in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian government has not updated the public officially at this writing regarding the progress of the negotiation.

Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, said in his twitter message on January 27 :

“The main elements of the technical results include principles, filling stages, retained volumes of water in the dam, reservoir operation, drought & its management, data exchange & coordination mechanisms. Lawyers, experts & ministers have arrived in DC”

A day after the last negotiation in mid January 2020, Ethiopian authorities expressed firm commitment saying that “Ethiopia has not, will not sign an agreement that compromises national interest.”

Sudan, another negotiating party, seems to have been convinced that the Ethiopian dam could actually be used for mutual benefits. And has been consistent though out the negotiation.

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