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Despite the fear entertained by the downstream countries of the Nile basin, little attention was paid to the right of Ethiopia to utilize the Blue Nile waters. The purpose of this study is to explain the tension between upper riparian Ethiopia and downstream Sudan and Egypt on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) filling and controversies on its annual operation. A descriptive qualitative research method was employed to describe the tension concerning the filling and controversies on the annual operation of the GERD. The investigation relied on secondary sources of data obtained from YouTube videos of international broadcast media such as CGTN, Aljazeera, and TRT World. In addition, national broadcast media of Ethiopia (Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation and Ahadu Television), Sudan (Sudan Tribune), and Egypt (Daily News Egypt) accessed to make data balance. Moreover, letters from these countries sent to the UNSC have been reviewed. Besides, published and unpublished secondary sources on the Nile basin hydro-politics and the GERD were reviewed. The finding of the study reveals that the filling of the dam does not constitute significant harm as it can be seen from the first phase filling given the hydrological condition in the Eastern Nile Basin. The controversy regarding the annual operation of the GERD arises from the fear that their historical and current water use will be threatened. They wanted to conclude the binding agreement in their favor at the expense of Ethiopia’s future utilization of Blue Nile water. Their fear is Ethiopia would not remain faithful to its promises that the dam and its filling do not affect their water security. Rather than basing their claim on invalid colonial treaties, Egypt and Sudan should acknowledge Ethiopia’s right to utilize the Blue Nile water resource and fill the dam without causing significant harm. It is suggested to clear distrust and discuss issues of common concern by tolerating short-term risk for the long-term collective prosperity.
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