By Addis Getachew
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) – Ethiopia on Monday trashed rumors that the South Sudanese ambassador to Ethiopia was expelled.
Reports have been widely circulated by international media that Ethiopia showed the South Sudanese ambassador the door after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi’s visit to Juba over the weekend.
It “is fictional news perpetrated by elements supporting the disinformation campaign of the criminal TPLF clique,” the State of Emergency Task Force said in a statement.
During his visit, el-Sisi discussed Nile, and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – a huge hydro scheme that Ethiopia has been building since 2011 on the Nile. Ethiopia contributes 85% of waters to the Nile.
Since June, the African Union has been mediating talks between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt concerning the filling and annual operation of Ethiopia’s dam that has a capacity of holding 170 billion cubic meters of water in its reservoir.
The construction is underway at a cost of more than $5 billion raised through public mobilization of funds with no external financing.
Egypt said it fears the dam would reduce its share of the Nile waters, while Ethiopia maintains the dam is crucial to its development and that the scheme has several regional benefits, including serving as a regional power pool and reducing annual flooding in Egypt and Sudan.
A 1959 bilateral agreement gave Egypt 55.5 billion cubic meters of water, and Sudan 18.5 billion cubic meters. Ethiopia got nil.
A water expert told Anadolu Agency that “Egypt has been knocking doors closer to Ethiopia over the past several years to align as many countries in East Africa as possible to continue its hegemony over the Nile waters."