DR Congo, Ethiopia leaders seek way out of dam impasse

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ADDIS ABABA – Leaders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia on Tuesday held talks on Tuesday on the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project

DR Congo President Felix Tshekedi – the African Union chair for 2021 – arrived in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, late Monday to speak with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in an effort to bring Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt to a win-win solution concerning the dam.

Tshekedi earlier visited Egypt and Sudan.

Abiy told Tshekedi that Ethiopia has always been committed to finding a resolution to the impasse with an unwavering principle of African solutions to African problems.

Abiy said Ethiopia wants the issue to be resolved according to a Declaration of Principles (DoP) the three countries signed in 2015.

Egypt and Sudan have encouraged the signing of a comprehensive agreement before Ethiopia implements a second-year filling of the dam’s reservoir this July and August.

The DoP gives Ethiopia the right to fill its dam while negotiations are ongoing.

Last year, Ethiopia impounded 4.9 billion cubic meters of water at the dam’s reservoir, and in the coming rainy season it plans to hold 13.5 billion cubic meters that are necessary to test two of 16 turbines of the hydroelectric dam.

Ethiopia broke ground for construction of the $5 billion dam in 2011. The scheme enables Ethiopia to generate 6,350 megawatts of electricity.

Egypt and Sudan said they fear the dam would reduce the flow of water downstream, while Ethiopia maintains that the dam is vital for its national development. Source: Anadolu Agency