After Trump remarks that Egypt might ‘blow up’ Nile dam, Ethiopia says will not ‘cave in’

Ethiopia denounced “belligerent threats” over the huge dam it has nearly completed on the Blue Nile River, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said downstream Egypt will “blow up” the project it has called an existential threat.

Ethiopia vowed not to “cave into aggressions of any kind”, according to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office.

“Nonetheless, occasional statements of belligerent threats to have Ethiopia succumb to unfair terms still abound. These threats and affronts to Ethiopian sovereignty are misguided, unproductive, and clear violations of international law,” his office said in a statement.

Ethiopia defended the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, set to become Africa’s largest hydropower plant.

“The man doesn’t have a clue on what he is talking about,” Former Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn tweeted, calling Trump’s remark reckless and irresponsible.

“There are two facts that the world has certified. The first is that there has been no one who has lived in peace after provoking Ethiopia. The second is if Ethiopians stand united for one purpose, it’s inevitable, they will triumph,” it said.

Abiy’s office did not explicitly mention Trump, but its statement came the morning after the US president weighed in on the dam dispute in support of Egypt.

“It’s a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Friday during a ceremony marking a breakthrough normalisation deal between Israel and Sudan.

“They’ll end up blowing up the dam. And I said it and I say it loud and clear — they’ll blow up that dam. And they have to do something,” Trump said.