Egyptian-Ethiopian disputes stall Renaissance Dam

CAIRO — Studies analyzing the effects of the proposed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam were due six months ago, but the parties involved have yet to agree on how consultants should even approach the studies.

Persisting differences among Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan keep delaying the studies, which Egypt hopes will prove that the dam’s construction will cause extensive problems for Egypt and Sudan. The differences revolve around details in the fine print of the offers submitted by the two consultant offices chosen to conduct the studies: the French BRL and the Dutch Deltares. The seventh round of negotiations ended July 22 in Khartoum without any signed contracts, however.

Alaa Yassin, spokesman for an Egyptian delegation of experts on the Renaissance Dam, said in an interview with Al-Monitor, “Our official position is that this dam is harmful to Egypt, and its storage capacity has no technical or economic justification. The differences remain unresolved, and a great deal of time has been consumed. We were supposed to finish the studies in no more than six months, but around a year has passed without signing the contract related to the consultants that will conduct the studies.”

The Egyptian delegation, along with representatives of Sudan and Ethiopia, make up the international commission of experts on the dam.

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