June 6, 2013

War Over Water? Dispute Between Egypt and Ethiopia Over Nile Grows After Violent Threats Made On Egyptian TV

An excerpt from, "Ethiopia: Halting Dam’s Construction Unthinkable" by Marthe van der Wolf (VOA News, June 6, 2013):

An excerpt from, "Morsi Aide Apologizes After Ethiopia Remarks Broadcast Live" (VOA News, June 4, 2013):
Egyptian politicians have proposed ways to sabotage an Ethiopian dam project in talks that were televised live without the politicians' knowledge.

An aide to Egypt's president apologized for failing to tell the politicians they were on the air Monday during the meeting with President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo.

The aide said on Twitter that a decision was made at the last minute to air the meeting live, due to the importance of the topic.

Ethiopia has angered Egypt with its plans to construct a massive hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile, a key Nile River tributary.

During Monday's meeting, an Islamist party leader suggested Egypt support Ethiopian rebels to exert pressure on Addis Ababa. A liberal politician suggested spreading rumors that Egypt was buying military planes for possible airstrikes.

The battle for control of the life-giving waters of the Nile has gone on for centuries and continues to this day.
The current tenuous political situation in Egypt means that "if the army wants to divert attention away from criticism, it would probably do something against Ethiopia," water expert Adel Darwish told Al Jazeera.