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.
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)