Museveni dismisses Egypt’s claims over Ethiopia’s Nile dam threat

By Godfrey Olukya

Posted on June 14, 2013 13:19

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has warned Egypt against repeating mistakes of past regimes by threatening neighbours over the use of River Nile water.

Museveni on Wednesday told the Ugandan parliament that the construction of a dam over the Nile River by Ethiopia would not destroy the water source as alleged by Egypt.

“Egypt should not repeat mistakes of past governments,” he said.

“Egyptians think that there is a threat to the Nile by Ethiopia’s building of a hydro power but in actual fact production of electricity saves the Nile.”

Museveni said the production of electricity would see a decline in the number of people cutting down trees for firewood, hence the environment in the river’s catchment areas will be preserved.

Tension between Egypt and Ethiopia has been rising over the Addis Ababa’s plans to build dams along the Nile.

Ethiopia plans to construct a dam where 6 000 megawatts of electricity.

President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt’s government has objected to the projects saying it will affect the River Nile’s water levels.

Museveni said instead of threatening Ethiopia with war Egypt must open dialogue.

“Construction of dams in Ethiopia has led to her economy to grow,” he said.

“It is advisable that chauvinistic statements coming out of Egypt are restrained and through the Nile Valley organization, rational discussions take place.’

Museveni said due to lack of electricity in Uganda, 40 billion cubic meters of wood is used for domestic purposes.

“No African wants to hurt Egypt,” he said. “However, Egypt cannot continue to hurt black Africa.”

On Morsi said he did not want “war” with Ethiopia over the construction of the $4.7 billion Renaissance Dam near the border with Sudan but said he would “keep all options open.”

The Nile is the source of nearly all of Egypt’s water.

Ethiopia and other Nile basin countries – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – accuse Egypt of taking advantage of a colonial treaty to monopolise the Nile.

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