Dam is Source of Cooperation, Not Threat to Int’l Peace, Security: Experts

Addis Ababa : The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is “a source of cooperation rather than a threat for international peace and security,” experts said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Dejen Yemane, Law lecturer at Wollo University blamed Egypt for deliberately creating tension and attempting to threaten international peace and security.

By building this dam, Ethiopia is clearly exercising its sovereign right on the utilization of the  Nile River because it is the contributor of 86 percent of the water whose people are in poverty and darkness.This obviously never poses and constitute “a threat to international peace and security,” he noted.

According to him, the international law dictates that countries with transboundary rivers do have the right to utilize their rivers within their territories on the basis of equitable and fair utilization.

The legal expert pointed out that the complaint the Egyptian government is making to the UN Security Council has no legal basis in the Geneva international law or in the transboundary water course governance.

Egypt has always been following the principle of internalization, securitization and politicization with regard to the utilization of the Nile water, he said, adding that “it cannot however continue utilizing the water exclusively, which is contrary to established General International Law and the law which governs and regulates transboundary water courses.”

Dejen stated that Ethiopia’s determination to utilize its fair share in the Nile waters cannot pose  threat to anyone.

The dam, being a “unilateral project of Ethiopia cannot attract the intervention of second and third parties,” he underscored.

Institute for Security Studies Senior Researcher and Training Coordinator, Meressa Kasu said the GERD is only one project over the Nile River.

There are many projects in Sudan and Egypt, including the big project Aswan Dam,  he said, Similarly, other riparian countries have the right to benefit from projects on  the Nile River because they have the rights to the river.

“I believe that the dam is a source of cooperation rather than a threat to international peace and security. I say this because everyone has the right and obligation to respect the rights of others and not significantly harm others,” he underscored.

He further noted that the only solution for the countries is to take the dam as an opportunity for cooperation.

 

Source: Ethiopia News Agency