Morning star– ETHIOPIA has been accused of inflaming regional tensions by announcing plans to fill a much criticised dam project without informing neighbouring Sudan and Egypt.

The three countries have been at loggerheads over the construction of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam amid fears on the effect on 55.5 billion cubic metres of water from the Blue Nile.

Construction began in 2011 but has been rejected by Sudan.

Egypt recently submitted a letter to the UN security council warning that it would affect the countries’ water supply.

Cairo said that it is essential to operate within the rules of international law and stressed the importance of Ethiopia’s “positive engagement in discussions to settle this issue in a fair and balanced manner, to ensure the sustainability of security and stability in the region.”

But Ethiopian acting foreign affairs spokesman Amsalu Tizazu insisted that the filling of the dam during the wet season is part of scheduled construction.

“Nothing is expected from us regarding the filling of the dam, because Egypt and Sudan know that this will happen when the construction of the dam reaches a certain level. After all, it is built to be filled,” he said.

Mr Tizazu said that Ethiopia was committed to “fair and equitable use of the common resources of all the Nile-basin countries.”

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