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Egyptian Army Seeks to Dampen Spiking Egyptian-Ethiopian Tensions

The Egyptian military is attempting to restore calm in the wake of tensions between Cairo and Ethiopia concerning Addis Ababa’s announced intention to build a giant dam on the Nile. Egyptian military spokesman Ahmed Mohammed Ali said today that the situation “is not currently a military matter” adding that it was premature to involve the armed forces.

Tensions between the two countries reached a new level Monday, when Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said that while he didn’t want to go to war with Ethiopia, “all options were open.”

The statements came after Ethiopia dedicated the Great Renaissance Dam on the Nile. Addis Ababa claims that the project is designed to supply Ethiopians with electricity and improve its energy infrastructure. Egypt fears that the dam will affect the flow of the Nile’s waters and damage the country’s living standards.

Ethiopian officials dismissed Egyptian threats and emphasized their intention to continue building the dam.

[Photo: Tbachner / Wiki Commons]