Somalia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Abdihakim Abdullahi Omar ‘Amey’, has said that Somalia is fully behind Ethiopia in its water dispute with Egypt.
In an interview with Fana Broadcast Corporate (FBC), the former Puntland Vice-President said that the construction of the Nile would bring prosperity to Ethiopia and the region.
“We are hopeful that the construction of the dam won’t be a problem. It will benefit Ethiopia and the entire continent.”
He went on to say that Somalia respects Ethiopia’s right to development in its country.
“Somalia respects Ethiopia’s right to use her natural resources, which is why we rejected Egypt’s motion to the Arab League, which conflicts with the interests of Ethiopia and East Africa.”
Egypt submitted a resolution to the Arab League on June 23 urging Ethiopia to delay filling it’s mega-dam until a deal has been reached. Djibouti and Somalia held out as the rest pof the Arab League approved the resolution.
He added that Somalia was supporting Ethiopia and said that Africans would only solve the African issue.
Amey’s comments appear to be at odds with Somalia’s official government position of neutrality. Somali Foreign Minister, Amb. Ahmed Isse Awad called on all parties to resolve the matter amicably.
“As we know the Nile is a lifeline for Egypt and Sudan, it is also a development for our Ethiopian friends, so we call on Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to ease tensions and resolve all issues.”
Both Egypt and Ethiopia have written to the UN Security Council to lay blame at each other’s feet. The two have been looking for a negotiated settlement for nearly a decade.
The Ethiopian government said it plans to start filling its $4.6 billion damn in two weeks. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said he hopes his government can reach a deal with Sudan and Egypt by then.
Ethiopia and Egypt are Africa’s third and fourth most populous countries, each with over 100 million people. Egypt relies on the Nile for nearly 90% of its water supply. Ethiopia is banking on the electricity generated by the new damn to power its rapidly growing economy and pull millions out of poverty.