Egypt has written to the UN Security Council protesting Ethiopia’s plan to start filling the reservoir of the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on a tributary of the Nile without agreement from Egypt.
In March, Ethiopia’s water minister said filling would start in July after Ethiopia skipped US-brokered talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.
These talks were intended to reach agreement on filling GERD and other issues related to the mega hydro-power scheme.
Tensions have been simmering since 2011 over the 6GW GERD, set to be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam, because it pits Ethiopia’s desire for more energy against Egypt’s fears over water security. Egypt relies on the Nile for nearly all its water and has been alarmed at Ethiopia’s planned schedule for filling the reservoir.
Egypt’s letter calls on the international community to ask Ethiopia to respect its obligations relative to a declaration of principles the countries signed in 2015, and to return to negotiations, reports Egyptian news site, Ahramonline.
The letter was sent on 1 May and, last week, Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry telephoned his Estonian counterpart, Urmas Reinsalu, because Estonia holds the Security Council presidency for the month of May.
Image: Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during a Russia-Africa Summit, October 2019 (The Kremlin/CC BY 4.0)
The project would have Devastating effects on the Nile, Not sure why the project has got this far
Ethiopia is disrespecting all parties by proceeding in its plans regardless of wether other stakeholders agree or not. The only explanation is some bad intention to harm Egypt and Sudan. The international community should step in to curb the Ethiopian ambitions and bring them inline with international law. The Ethiopian people deserve a prosperity that’s built on international respect rather than promoting hostility and instability to other countries.
The GERD issue is being increasingly politicised, the experts from all three countries Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan should negotiate to resolve the issue. GERD is in africa and should be resolved in africa, they may get technical assistance from the developed countries but should mainly involve NBI and AUC. I believe 85% of the water originates from Ethiopia’s highland areas but they haven’t raised an equity of water so far, the Dam only uses the energy coming out of the flow of the river however it holds water for the first 7 years so that the flow is regulated afterwards which will be a gain for Sudan and may impact Egypt. The main problem is Egypt has built many national infrastructures dependent on the water without consultation of Ethiopia and Sudan so far including the Aswan Dam as a result, Egypt doesnt want Ethiopia and sudan to build anything on the river that will have an impact, this is so unfair. I think the technical experts should seat and resolve the issue, SIMPLE! this reminds me of my kids having breakfast, the youngest used to finish his own portion quick and tries to share his brothers then starts fighting , it was simply UNFAIR!
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