Home | News    Thursday 5 April 2012

Sudan’s Bashir supports Ethiopia’s Nile dam project

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

March 8, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) – Despite long-standing protest against its execution, Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, told the newly appointed Ethiopian ambassador to Sudan, Abadi Zemo, that his country supports the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project.

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Planned Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project (file/AP)

According to a statement from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bashir made the announcement while receiving the new Ethiopian envoy to Sudan in Khartoum, where the two sides also held talks on a number of bilateral issues. 

Bashir said his government understands the mutual benefits the project could offer Ethiopia and Sudan and said he will extend the necessary support to ensure the successful completion of the massive hydro-power project.

Ethiopia intends to become a regional power hub by daming the Nile.

Zemo said the historical and cultural ties between Ethiopia and Sudan will be further strengthened.

In 2011 Ethiopia began the construction of the US$4.8 billion dam project on the Blue Nile near the Sudanese border, leading to outcry from the downstream countries of Sudan and Egypt; which had control over most of the water resources using a treaty signed during colonial era.

Egypt and Sudan previously argued that the construction of the dam would negatively affect their water shares and insisted the project should be blocked, calling on international donors against funding it. Ethiopia argued that the project would not have a detrimental affect on Sudan or Egypt, and that it would continue with it, regardless of their reactions.

Following the downfall of the Hosni Mubarak-led Egyptian regime, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia opened a new chapter of cooperation and understanding to resolve their long standing dispute over the use of Nile water and the countries established a tripartite technical committee to assess the possible impacts of the dam.

In January 2011 the committee officially began its assessment.

In recent years, Ethiopia has been investing billions of dollars in building power plants making it an emerging regional power hub.

In February Ethiopia completed a World Bank funded $US41 million power transmission line that links its power grid with neighbouring Sudan enabling the latter to import an initial 100MW of electricity.

Ethiopia currently exports 35MW to Djibouti for US$1.5 million per month.

Ethiopia also plans to export 400MW of hydro-power generated electricity to Kenya by 2016 when a transmission line project is completed. The country has long-term plans to supply power to South Sudan, Tanzania, Somalia, and Yemen.

The non-governmental organisation, International Rivers, expressed concerns about the environmental impacts of the project and stated that the "potential for conflict is probably the main reason international funders have shown no interest in supporting the project.”

(ST)

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  • 5 April 2012 07:10, by Madina Tonj

    That is fine, South Sudan will soon built its own dam for their own used and we will see how that work on Northern Sudan . The Khartuom regime were very proud about Port Sudan oil export fee and they forgotten River Nile is another important the South Sudan could punish them if they keep continues bitter relationship with new nation South Sudan

    repondre message

    • 6 April 2012 12:28, by zande

      @tonj i hope u might forgot that 87% of water of nile is coming from blue nile , Ethiopia eventhough thy r crying for a sip of water.

      repondre message

  • 5 April 2012 07:15, by SeekingTruth

    Al-Bashir is being soft on the project construction just to woo Meles Zenawi to his side as the relationship between the South and the North deteriorates. Given the recent standoffs, both Meles and Mbeki haven’t been really faithful to South Sudan in the negotiation for God’s sake.....I guess Bashir and his crew have been working their butts to earn the support.

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  • 5 April 2012 07:52, by Madina Tonj

    All dictatorships have to be worry about things are changing in their faces. Ormo people are the majority in Ethiopia and they are now against Mel’s government maybe that is the reason why Mel is keeping ties with all bad guys in the world. Interestingly, Ormo people will not get help in East Africa nations because their population of Muslim is reaching to about 32 million in Ethiopia mostly young

    repondre message

    • 5 April 2012 09:23, by Robot

      ’Sudan’s Bashir supports Ethiopia’s Nile dam project’
      it is funny, Bashir is crying crocodile tears, point blank, dams will be constructed whether Egypt or Sudan likes it or not.

      repondre message

      • 5 April 2012 10:03, by Northern Sudanese

        Robot

        why are you so jealous about sudan supporting ethiopia? ethiopia is our ally and probably our best neighbour......why would we even cry? this damn is also very beneficial to east sudan, it will help a lot in agriculture........we sudanese support this project, those who are crying are you southerners because the only thing you wanna see is khartoum to collapse.......lol hahahahahaahha

        repondre message

        • 5 April 2012 10:51, by Robot

          Northern Sudanese,
          I cannot waste my time answering and teaching you here, you are not my match, your comments are always premature and baseless, just to drag people into senseless argument. analyst my comments and you will realize or know who i am.

          repondre message

          • 5 April 2012 11:44, by Northern Sudanese

            Mad robot

            i know your jealous because sudan is supporting ethiopia......the only thing you wanna see is khartoum to collapse which is a fact......that wont happen.......

            all i said are facts so how can they be sensless????
            i guess the only baseless person here is you mad robot.....
            you say we support ethiopia so ethiopia supports us.......

            what a Mad Robot...........

            repondre message

            • 5 April 2012 12:47, by Robot

              Northern Sudanese,
              i am not mad, well to give you a little oversight, to you they are facts, do you understand or know anything about the MOU to share the Nile water?, well if you know then it is good to regroup your senses of the few you know and think as a common citizen who sways wherever the wind blows. you are intoxicated with grudges that will ends you up with hypertension.

              repondre message

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