Ethiopia declared that the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam can not be stopped and that internationalizing the dispute will not be useful for the negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, especially with the Egyptian-Sudanese signature on the Declaration of Principles agreement in 2015.
Zirhon Abiby, member of the Ethiopian negotiation team regarding the Renaissance Dam, added in a TV interview with Al-Jazeera, that the international law does not recognize what the Egyptians called “the historical right in Nile’s water,” and that the water has to be redistributed fairly among the basin countries. “Egypt and Sudan attempt to get shares imposed by treaties from the colonial era,” said Abiby. Abiby said that Ethiopia does not wait Egypt and Sudan’s approval for operating the dam, and it has not to have a binding deal with the both countries.
In a similar vein, Talahon Erdono, member of the National Council of the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, said that the binding deal demanded by Egypt and Sudan aims at sustaining colonial unilateral treaties that give the both upstream countries a monopoly over the Nile’s water. “There in no international law that obliges Ethiopia to sign a binding deal on the operation of the dam,” said Erdono.
On the other hand, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry declared in a statement that it is committed to negotiations supervised by the African Union. “AF managed previously to reach solutions for many issues and it can treat with the fears of all parties,” said the statement.