US Cuts Aid to Ethiopia over Nile Dam Dispute

ADDIS ABABA (Somaliguardian) – The US government suspended part of its financial aid to Ethiopia over lack of progress in talks with Sudan and Egypt about a massive dam Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile River.

Over the past few months, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have been locked in a bitter dispute over the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which remains unresolved.

The Ethiopian government announced in July that the reservoir behind the dam began filling.

A US Department of State spokesperson told the Associated Press news agency on Tuesday that the decision to “temporarily pause” some aid to a key regional security ally “reflects our concern about Ethiopia’s unilateral decision to begin to fill the dam before an agreement and all necessary dam safety measures were in place”.

Ethiopia says the hydropower dam is essential for providing its citizens with adequate electricity supplies but downstream Egypt and Sudan view it as a serious threat to vital water supplies.

The US government has not yet substantiated how many millions of dollars it would cut or for how long, but a congressional source told Reuters news agency that up to $100m or so will be affected, of which $26m is funding that expires at the end of the financial year.”

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