River of discord between Egypt and Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia Tensions have escalated in the Eastern Nile region, with Egypt taking a complaint to the UN Security Council (UNSC) against Ethiopia’s plan to fill a $5billion hydro dam. The move has riled a cross-section of people in the region, who believed that Egypt should have exhausted to find regional solutions first by …

River of discord between Egypt and Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

Tensions have escalated in the Eastern Nile region, with Egypt taking a complaint to the UN Security Council (UNSC) against Ethiopia’s plan to fill a $5billion hydro dam.

The move has riled a cross-section of people in the region, who believed that Egypt should have exhausted to find regional solutions first by approaching the African Union (AU) – a 55-member pan-African body before knocking at the doors of the UN.

On May 1, Egypt formally complained to the UNSC, accusing Ethiopia of diverting waters of Nile River to fill its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 15 km east of the border with Sudan.

The dam is believed to be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa and the seventh-largest in the world.

Although Ethiopia has said that it has prepared its response to the complaint, it, however, assailed Egypt for taking the issue to the UNSC and ignoring the AU.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had sought the intervention of the current chairperson of the AU, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa to mediate between the countries to settle the water issue.

Talks between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt broke down in February when the US, which was mediating produced a document that was interpreted heavily tilted in favor of Cairo.

Ethiopia contributes 85%of the waters of the Nile River, which traverses along 11 countries before it joins the Mediterranean Sea.

In its complaint to the UNSC, Egypt has accused Ethiopia of adopting a policy of obstructionism and prevarication that has undermined the negotiating process.

“Ethiopia’s overall objective was, and remains, the exercise of unfettered control over the Blue Nile, including by filling and operating the GERD without considering the interests of downstream countries, “said the complaint.

It has also blamed Ethiopia for harming the rights of downstream riparian states by trying to secure an unrestrained right to undertake future projects.

Source : Voice of South Asia More   

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Trump gives 30 days to WHO to make ‘major’ reforms

WASHINGTON President Donald Trump on Monday gave the World Health Organization (WHO) 30 days to “commit to major substantive improvements” or the US will permanently freeze funding for the body and reconsider its membership. Trump issued the stark warning in a letter he posted on Twitter, accusing the organization of ignoring reports of the novel …

Trump gives 30 days to WHO to make ‘major’ reforms

WASHINGTON

President Donald Trump on Monday gave the World Health Organization (WHO) 30 days to “commit to major substantive improvements” or the US will permanently freeze funding for the body and reconsider its membership.

Trump issued the stark warning in a letter he posted on Twitter, accusing the organization of ignoring reports of the novel coronavirus spreading in China in December and failing to share “critical information” regarding the outbreak.

In April, Trump said the WHO was China-centric and temporarily cut funding with a review pending.

In the strongly-worded letter, the president said the organization made “grossly incorrect” or “misleading” claims regarding the virus, which has infected more than 4.8 million people worldwide.

Trump recalled his decision to ban travel from China in January, which he said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus opposed, but praised China’s “strict domestic travel restrictions.”

The WHO’s decision to declare the coronavirus a pandemic was also among the criticisms the US president leveled against the international health body. He said when the WHO announced it was a pandemic, the virus had already killed more than 4,000 people and infected 100,000 others in 114 countries.

“Throughout this crisis, the World Health Organization has been curiously insistent on praising China for its alleged ‘transparency’,” Trump wrote in the letter, in which he also accused Beijing of depriving the world of critical information on the outbreak.

He told the WHO chief that his organization’s responses to the pandemic “have been extremely costly for the world,” demanding the body to “demonstrate independence from China.”

Stating that his administration is in talks with WHO officials, Trump said urgent action is needed and “we don’t have time to waste.”

“I cannot allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance an organization that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America’s interests,” he concluded.

The virus has killed more than 90,000 people in the US, while more than 318,000 are dead worldwide since December when the virus was first detected in Wuhan city, China.

Source : Voice of South Asia More   

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