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East Africa: Trump Warns Ethiopia of Egyptian Attack On Dam

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Washington — President Donald Trump has voiced his concern about the failed talks on the building of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the River Nile, saying he believes Egypt will launch an attack against it.

He blamed Ethiopia for ignoring a deal he had struck with Egypt.

“I had a deal done, and then they broke the deal. They can’t do that. So the deal was done. And it’s very dangerous situation because Egypt can’t able to live that way, they will end up blowing the dam. And I said it! I said it loud and clear! They blow up that dam,” Trump said in a call to Sudan and Israel leaders on a day when talks of restoration of relations of the African and Middle East country, was confirmed.

Ethiopia started building the GERD in 2011, while Egypt is concerned that the dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of Nile water. Sudan has recently been raising similar concerns over the dam.

Over the past few years, tripartite talks on the rules of filling and operating the GERD have been fruitless, including those hosted by Washington and recently by the African Union.

Ethiopia started diverting the flow of the River Nile in 2013 in preparation for the $4.2bn hydroelectric dam. The Blue Nile is one of two major tributaries of the Nile.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is set to be Africa’s largest, and shoul produce 6,000 megawatts.

Trump made the remarks Friday as he announced Sudan and Israel had agreed to normalize relations.

“HUGE win today for the United States and for peace in the world. Sudan has agreed to a peace and normalization agreement with Israel,” Trump said in a tweet.

“With the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, that’s THREE Arab countries to have done so in only a matter of weeks. More will follow!”

Earlier, Trump formally informed Congress the US will remove Sudan from the US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. The action frees Sudan from US sanctions, and is in response to Sudan making payment of $335-million for US victims of terror attacks.

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