JUBA – The head of South Sudan’s Sudd Institute, a national think tank based in the country’s capital Juba, has backed neighboring Ethiopia in its dispute against Egypt and Sudan over construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), saying Addis Ababa has full right to use its water resources for development.
Ethiopia has been in dispute with Egypt and Sudan over terms of implementation of the dam. While Ethiopia has maintained that the dam does not impact in anyway the water flow to Egypt and Sudan, both downstream countries have expressed fears of decline in water shares as they entirely depend on the Nile waters for drinking and irrigation.
South Sudan has not yet issued any position regarding the Ethiopian dam dispute, but has occasionally urged the two countries to resolve the matter peacefully and to avoid going to war which it said will have devastating impact not only on the two countries, but on the region as a whole.
In a statement this morning, the Ethiopian ministry of foreign affairs said the country’s ambassador to South Sudan Nebil Mahdi visited the managing director of the Sudd Institute Abraham Awolich and both had “exchange of views pertaining to the areas of cooperation as well as regional issues.”
While recalling contribution of the Ethiopian government and people to South Sudan’s cause for independence, Abraham said: “It was Ethiopia in our side during all our difficulties [….] and Ethiopia has full right to develop the Dam that is highly anticipated to benefit not only Ethiopia, but the project that has the positive spillover effect over the whole Eastern Africa region and beyond.”