Ethiopia announced, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, the start of a process of cutting forests in the vicinity of the Renaissance Dam, in preparation for the second filling next July, after the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, on Tuesday, that it had “informed the US envoy to Sudan, Donald Booth, of its decision” Decisive, “Concerning the second filling of the Renaissance Dam.”
Ethiopia’s new move on the Renaissance Dam comes one day after Statements of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in which he indirectly threatened Ethiopia, in the event that it insisted on taking unilateral measures regarding the Renaissance Dam.
Deforestation in preparation for filling the Renaissance Dam
The Director General of the Regional Governmental Technical and Professional Jobs Creation Agency in the Ethiopian state of Benishangul Gomuz announced, on Tuesday, 30 March, the implementation of deforestation in order to fill the second phase of the Renaissance Dam, at a cost of more than 81 million Ethiopian Birr.
Bashir Abdul Rahim said To the Ethiopian News Agency, “The area to be cleared covers 4,854 hectares of land, and to implement this, the Agency entered into an agreement with the Ethiopian Electric Energy Agency this week.”
The general manager also indicated that the deforestation will be carried out by 500 companies involving more than 5,000 unemployed youth from across the state. Bashir revealed that the work will be completed within a month, as the work will be supported by GPS technology.
Noting that the security situation in METICEL is improving rapidly, he said that the clearance activity will be carried out in close cooperation with the District Command Center, under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Ethiopia informs America of its position
The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, on Tuesday, that it had “informed the US envoy to Sudan, Donald Booth, of its” decisive decision “regarding the second filling of the Renaissance Dam.
“Addis Ababa respects the international law for the use of transcontinental rivers,” said the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Dina Mufti, during a press conference, reiterating that the Renaissance Dam does not harm the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan.
Mufti added, “The resolution of differences must be through negotiations, and any change in the negotiation mechanisms must be in accordance with the declaration of principles.” He continued, “We have informed the American envoy to Sudan, Donald Booth, that we are proceeding with the second filling of the Renaissance Dam.”
And Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said, last Tuesday, that “the second filling of the Renaissance Dam is on schedule in the rainy season, next July.” Ahmed added, in a speech to Parliament, that “his country has no desire whatsoever to harm Egypt or Sudan, but it does not want to live in the dark.”
Sisi’s warning against harming Egypt’s water
Yesterday, Tuesday, the Egyptian President said, in televised statements, that “the waters of the Nile are a red line, and we will not allow our water rights to be compromised, and any prejudice to Egypt’s water will have a reaction that threatens the stability of the entire region.”
Al-Sisi proceeded with a threatening tone, saying that “no one can take a drop of water from Egypt, and whoever wants to experiment must approach (our waters).”
Al-Sisi added during a press conference: “I do not threaten anyone, and our age has not threatened us, and our dialogue is very rational.” No one imagines that he can remain beyond our ability. “
This was the first time that Sisi issued a clear threat to Ethiopia, although he did not talk about military action directly, he said that the stability of the entire region would be affected by Egypt’s reaction in the event of compromising its water supplies due to the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is understood to be A threat of military action or intelligence-security action that destabilizes Ethiopia and the entire region.