Ethiopia announces that second turbine in GERD is in operation

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced on Thursday that the second turbine at its controversial mega-dam on the Blue Nile is already generating electricity.

The announcement came despite continuing objections by Egypt and Sudan over the project.

Cairo and Khartoum fear the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) could threaten their access to vital Nile waters and demand a written agreement on the dam's filling and operation.

Last month, Egypt wrote to the Security Council voicing its objections to Ethiopia's plans to fill the dam for a third year without a three-way agreement.

"There have been reports that floods have occurred in cities in Egypt and Sudan. This shows that the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will not harm the people of Egypt and Sudan. As for the filling of the dam, as the construction goes on, so will the filling of the dam. The water will be filled as the dam is being built", said Foreign Affairs spokesperson Meles Alem. 

The Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson also confirmed that the military are actively engaged chasing al-Shabaab to the border with Somalia in order to secure the area.

"Al-Shabaab is a security threat to the world and the region. As long as al-Shabaab is a security threat, we will conduct the necessary security operations in Ethiopia", added the government representative. 

Ethiopia first began generating electricity at the dam in February. 

Currently, the two turbines, out of a total of 13 at the dam, are generating 750 megawatts of electricity.

The GERD is ultimately expected to produce more than 5,000 megawatts, more than doubling Ethiopia's current output.

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