US stops Trump’s aid freeze to Ethiopia over dam dispute

ADDIS ABABA – The United States has stopped blocking aid to Ethiopia over its controversial mega-dam but voiced hope for a diplomatic solution involving Egypt and Sudan, AFP news agency reported on Monday.

The administration of former president Donald Trump, a steadfast ally of Egypt’s leader, in September suspended around $272 million to Ethiopia, to force its government accept US-brokered talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam broke down.

“The United States has decided to delink its temporary pause on certain assistance to Ethiopia from the United States policy on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, or GERD,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

“We continue to support collaborative and constructive efforts by Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to reach an agreement on the GERD,” he said.

Trump was a close ally of Egypt’s general turned president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and publicly mused in October that Egypt could bomb the dam – leading Ethiopia to accuse the then US leader of trying to provoke a war.