South Africa

Trump wades into GERD dispute, tells Sudan that Egypt ’will blow up’ dam

Washington - US President Donald Trump waded into a dispute between three African countries over a controversial hydroelectric dam project on Friday, following his brokering of a rapprochement between Sudan and Israel.

The hydroelectric dam, which Ethiopia has been building since 2010 on the Blue Nile, has caused animosity with Egypt, which is concerned about the control of water flow.

The US president accused Ethiopia of breaking a deal he had worked on to resolve the dispute and said he has since cut off millions of dollars in aid to Addis Ababa.

"You can't blame Egypt for being a little bit upset," Trump said on a call with the Sudanese and Israeli leaders celebrating their diplomatic breakthrough.

He then appeared to suggest violence could ensue.

"It's a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way," the president said. "They are going to end up blowing up that dam ... they will blow up that dam."

Ethiopia wants the dam to expand its power exports, whereas Egypt relies almost exclusively on the Nile's waters for farming, industry and domestic use.

Egypt and Sudan are seeking a legally binding deal that would guarantee the appropriate flows of water and a legal mechanism for resolving disputes before the dam starts operating.

In August however, Ethiopia celebrated the first filling of the dam.

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