US, DRC discuss importance of reducing GERD conflict between Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia

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Thu, 22 Jul 2021 - 09:54 GMT

A Google satellite image for the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)- Egypt Today

A Google satellite image for the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)- Egypt Today

CAIRO- 22 July 2021: US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Félix Tshisekedi discussed the importance of reducing the conflict between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to a statement by the US Department of State on Wednesday evening.
 
Blinken “emphasized the importance of the African Union’s role in reducing conflict and mediating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute.  Both leaders expressed their commitment to working together so that the DRC can realize its vast potential and continue on a positive trajectory,” the statement read.
 
On July 6, 2021, the US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price said in his daily Briefing that Ethiopia’s second filling for GERD is a unilateral action which is ‘fair to say that is a potential to raise tensions’ between parties.”
 
A day earlier, Egypt’s Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Ati received an official letter from his Ethiopian counterpart Seleshi Bekele confirming that Ethiopia started the second phase of filling the reservoir of its controversial mega dam. This comes despite Egyptian and Sudanese rejection of the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which Ethiopia builds on the Blue Nile, unless the three countries reach a legally binding agreement on the dam.
 
Blinken and Tshisekedi talked about some African issues such as the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the statement said.
 
 “Secretary Blinken also commended President Tshisekedi for his leadership as African Union Chairperson, and the two discussed making environmental protection and combatting the climate crisis a priority during the DRC’s term.  Secretary Blinken emphasized the United States’ grave concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the statement added.
 
The US Department of State regional spokesman Samuel Warburg criticized the latest Ethiopian Parliamentary elections that were held last June, saying it was neither ‘free’ nor ‘fair’ elections.
 
He added in statements, Monday that free decisions demand democracy and transparency. “Elections itself was never a sign for democracy or political reform” Warburg said.
 
Warburg also called on Ethiopians to refuse violence and confront all kind of growing divisions within the society.
 
Earlier this month, Ethiopia’s ruling Prosperity party succeeded to win the election, assuring a second term for the prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, despite the political conflicts he aroused in his country including Tigray conflict and the GERD issue.
 
Ethiopia's government has been battling the Tigray People's Liberation Front since late last year, causing the death of thousands of civilians and an unknown number of combatants.
 

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