Egypt: “Batel” Campaign Calls for Withdrawing from Ethiopian Dam DoP

“Batel” Egyptian popular opposition campaign and movement says referendum should be held to annul Renaissance Dam agreement, known as Declaration of Principles (DoP), signed by Sisi in 2015.

The Egyptian popular campaign “Batel” (Void), including members from across the political spectrum, has called on the Egyptian authorities to withdraw from the Declaration of Principles on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), signed by Cairo, Khartoum, and Addis Ababa in 2015.

The ‘Batel’ campaign said in a statement that the popular campaign calls on all political powers inside and outside Egypt to overcome differences and unify their position against the ceding of the Nile waters.

The campaign demanded the Egyptian authorities to withdraw from the Declaration of Principles signed with Ethiopia or conduct a national popular referendum on the agreement.

The statement warned that in case the Egyptian authorities refused to conduct a referendum, the campaign will conduct an online one.

In March 2015, Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia signed a declaration of principles on the technical details for filling and operating GERD.

The fourth article of the agreement stipulates general guidelines on filling the dam.

On Wednesday, an Ethiopian official said his country started to fill the dam. Addis Ababa, however, retracted the statement and said the statement was misunderstood.

Ethiopia insists on the filling and operation of GERD in July, while Egypt and Sudan refuse such move by Addis Ababa before a tripartite agreement is reached.

Egypt fears that its annual share of the Nile’s water, amounting to 55.5 billion cubic meters, will be affected, and demands an agreement on certain files, including the safety of the dam, and determination of its filling bases in times of drought.

Meanwhile, Addis Ababa says that it does not aim to harm the interests of Egypt and Sudan, and that the aim of building the dam is to generate electricity and achieve development.

Ethiopia began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in 2011 on the Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile River, near the border with Sudan.

The construction of the 147-meter (482-feet) high, 1.8-kilometer (1.1-mile) long project is expected to be completed by 2023.

Tensions have escalated between Egypt and Ethiopia after the former complained to the UN Security Council on May 1 after Ethiopia announced its plan to begin first-phase filling of its $5-billion hydro dam.