Egypt, Ethiopia ready armies to battle over massive dam

The Egyptian army was reportedly placed on the “highest state of alert” in response to Ethiopia’s plan to fill a missile-fortified dam on the Blue Nile River.

By World Israel News Staff

On Monday and Tuesday, relations between Ethiopia and Egypt further deteriorated due to a dispute over the Renaissance Dam, a huge gravity dam on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia.

After Addis Ababa announced it would proceed with filling the dam, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi placed his nations army on the “highest state of alert,” reported Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a London-based pan-Arab media outlet.

In the past, Egypt communicated its willingness to engage in armed conflict to protect its access to the Nile and even reportedly considered bombing dam construction in 2013.

Ethiopia reportedly installed anti-aircraft missiles near the dam, which remains under construction.

At the beginning of May, Egypt sent a letter to United Nations Security Council members claiming that Ethiopia had taken hostile actions and requested the reinstitution of mediated negotiations

Conflict over the dam began to spiral out of control in March when Ethiopia refused to sign an agreement prepared by the U.S., which would have required Addis Ababa to accede to regulation of the dam by external actors.

Ethiopian officials maintain they are within their rights to fill the dam as they see fit, without clearing filling operations with any other states.

Both Egypt and Sudan oppose Ethiopia maintaining unilateral rights to fill the dam, fearing the structure will reduce the amount of water the Blue Nile carries to the Nile River, the primary source of water for these nations.

Ultimately, other countries on the Nile fear the Ethiopian dam will choke off water supplies and cause drought and famine.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew announced Ethiopia “sees no reason to postpone the filling of the reservoir of its dam,” reported Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Filling is set to begin in July.