Egypt threatens Ethiopia over Nile dam
Egypt is threatening Ethiopia with war over the Millenium dam
, which is being built by Ethiopia across the Nile River.
Egypt does not want war with Ethiopia but will keep
"all options open", Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said on Monday, turning up the heat
in a dispute over a giant dam Addis Ababa is building across the Nile.
a televised speech to cheering Islamist supporters, Morsi voiced understanding
for the development needs of poorer nations upstream in the Nile basin, but
rammed home in emotive language that Egyptians will not accept any reduction in
the flow of the river on which their civilisation has been based for
Bellicose rhetoric, including talk of military action by
Egyptian politicians last week, had raised concerns of a "water war" between
Africa's second and third most populous states.
But Morsi, for whom the
dispute provides an opportunity to rally Egyptians behind him after a divisive
first year in power, also appeared to leave room for compromise.
not renew an Egyptian call - flatly rejected by Ethiopia last week - for work to
stop at the dam but said further study on its impact was
"Egypt's water security cannot be violated in
any way," Morsi said. "As head of state, I confirm to you that all options are
open." He later added: "We are not calling for war, but we will never permit our
water security ... to be threatened." Drawing on an old Egyptian song about the
Nile, he said: "If it diminishes by one drop then our blood is the alternative."
Cairo had no objection to "development projects in the Nile Basin states", he
added, "but on condition that those projects do not affect or damage Egypt's
legal and historical rights".
Egypt, whose fast-growing population of 84
million uses 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
to defend its position. Ethiopia, the second most populous state in Africa, says
those claims are outdated.
Other African states south of the historic
frontier of the Muslim Arab world - notably Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi,
Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo - are also anxious to develop the water
resources of the Nile Basin.
And guess who is going to finance this war if Egypt decides to prosecute it? Yes, that would be you, American Taxpayer.
Labels: Egypt, Ethiopia, Nile River, water shortage