Ethiopia’s Prime Minister expressed anger after President Donald Trump suggested Egypt could destroy a controversial Nile dam.
PM Abiy Ahmed said that his country “will not cave into aggression of any kind”.
He vowed that Ethiopians would finish the dam.
“Ethiopia will not cave into the aggression of any kind,” he said in a statement. “Ethiopians have never kneeled to obey their enemies but to respect their friends. We won’t do it today and in the future.”
Threats of any kind over the issue were “misguided, unproductive and clear violations of international law”.
In a separate statement, the foreign ministry said, “The incitement of war between Ethiopia and Egypt from a sitting US president neither reflects the longstanding partnership and strategic alliance between Ethiopia and the United States nor is acceptable in international law governing interstate relations.”
Why is the dam disputed?
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is at the center of a long-running dispute involving Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan.
Egypt fulfills most of its water requirements on the Nile and is concerned supplies could be cut off and its economy undermined as Ethiopia takes control of the flow of Africa’s longest river.
The $4bn (£3bn) structure on the Blue Nile in western Ethiopia will be Africa’s largest hydro-electric project once complete.
Trump and the dam
President Trump talked to Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu on phone in front of reporters at the White House on Friday.
According to the international news agency, the occasion was Israel and Sudan’s decision to agree on diplomatic relations in a move choreographed by the US. While talking about the dam, Mr. Trump and Mr. Hamdok expressed hopes for a peaceful resolution to the dispute.
But Mr. Trump also said, “it’s a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way”.
He continued, “And I said it and I say it loud and clear – they’ll blow up that dam. And they have to do something.”