Time.news – Egypt and Sudan will inform the United Nations, and its Security Council, of the latest developments in the ongoing dispute with Ethiopia sulla Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd). This was announced by the Egyptian foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, after the failure of the meeting held in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the current president of the African Union (AU).
Cairo and Khartoum fear that the colossal dam nearing completion on the Blue Nile may decrease the flow of water in transit in the two countries. “At this stage, there is full coordination and unity of position with Sudan – said Shoukry to the Extra News broadcaster – we will begin to contact international organizations to inform them of developments and ask them to assume their responsibilities”.
The minister then specified that the UN General Assembly and the Security Council must also be informed and have an active role in the issue to avoid that the situation “leads to tensions and further destabilize East Africa and the Horn of Africa“.
Shoukry explained the desire to involve international organizations because the issue “does not only affect Egypt and Sudan, but also international peace and security”. During the talks in Kinshasa, Cairo and Khartoum again proposed to Addis Ababa to involve the United Nations, the European Union and the United States in the negotiations, in addition to the AU, obtaining a new refusal.
In his statement, Shoukry accused Ethiopia of intransigence. For the minister, the Kinshasa talks “clearly” confirmed the lack of political will on the part of Ethiopia and the “continuous” stalemate in the talks, with which, in his opinion, Addis Ababa aims to impose a fait accompli on countries to Nile valley.
Already last year, recalls the Al Ahram website, Egypt had asked for the intervention of the international community, obtaining an open session of the United Nations Security Council on the dam under construction on the Blue Nile. The session was held on 30 June 2020 at the end of which the Council invited the three African countries to reach an agreement and avoid unilateral action.
Cairo and Kharthoum are worrying the next filling of the dam, scheduled for July, which is expected to collect about 15 billion cubic meters of water compared to 4.9 billion cubic meters last year. Egypt, already struggling with severe water shortages, fears that this operation could further jeopardize the country’s supply. For its part, Khartoum said it feared for its dams.
The Egyptian president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has invited Ethiopia not to compromise the Egyptian share of water in the Nile: “I tell our Ethiopian brothers, we shouldn’t get to a point where you touch a drop of water from Egypt because all options are possible – said al Sisi during the inauguration of a project in Cairo – ours cooperation is preferable. Building together is better than disagreeing and fighting. “
The replica of Ethiopia
Ethiopia will proceed “as planned” and deems “unacceptable” the request for an agreement before such an operation, “which precludes its current and future legitimate rights on the use of the Nile”.
This is what we read in the note released by Addis Ababa after the talks held in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with Egypt and Sudan, accused of having adopted “an approach aimed at undermining” the negotiations led by the African Union (UA) and having “hindered” the process.
In his speech at the opening of the talks in Kinshasa, the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, expressed the government’s readiness to “a favorable conclusion of the negotiations”, underlining however “the right of all coastal countries to use the River Nile” and “the importance of canceling the monopoly of the use of the waters of the Nile by the downstream countries”.
Entering the middle of the talks, Addis Ababa therefore rejected the proposal by Egypt and Sudan to recognize the current observers of the negotiations, South Africa, the United States and the European Union, the same status as AU because “determined to retain full ownership of the process by the three countries and the integrity of the process led by the African Union.
“The two countries have followed an approach that seeks to undermine the AU-led process and take the issue out of the African framework – reads the note released by Addis Ababa – they also blocked the resumption of negotiations by rejecting a draft statement that it contained the decisions taken in two days of meeting. Both countries tried to obstruct the process. “
Regarding the request from Khartoum and Cairo to reach an agreement before the next filling of the dam basin, expected in July, Addis Ababa stated that “it cannot enter into an agreement that precludes its legitimate rights, current and future, on the use of the Nile “.
“The filling for the second year of the Gerd will take place as scheduled under the Declaration of Principle (signed by the three countries in 2015, ed) – said Addis Ababa in the note – in this regard, Ethiopia expressed its willingness to facilitate the exchange of data and information on filling the dam “
“The positions contesting the filling of the dam before the conclusion of an agreement have no legal basis and violate Ethiopia’s inherent right to use its natural resource, it is unacceptable.” In conclusion of the statement, the Ethiopian government announced that it expects “the process to be resumed in the third week of April” at the request “of the current president of the AU”.