Egypt has made a fresh appeal to the United Nations Security Council in its protracted dispute over Ethiopia’s massive dam project over a Nile River tributary.
Authorities in Egypt alleged that Ethiopia has ruined efforts to reach a lasting legal agreement on issues related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that would guarantee the interests of all nations involved.
Although the AU began sponsoring the stalled GERD negotiations between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in July 2020, the talks in April this year mediated by the African Union were deadlocked. The Egyptian state-run Middle East News Agency says foreign ministers from Arab countries will discuss the dam in an “emergency” meeting in Qatar’s capital, Doha, on Tuesday.
In 2020, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry also raised concerns about the GERD project with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. U.S. officials during the Trump administration, including then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, attempted to facilitate negotiations.
Ethiopia executed the first phase of filling the dam’s reservoir last year. Downstream Egypt and Sudan, which fear potential disruptions to their water supplies especially in times of drought, object to Ethiopia’s decision to resume pooling in the upcoming rainy season without a deal on filling and operating the facility.
GERD, designed to boost Ethiopia’s electricity generation, is on the Blue Nile about 45 kilometers from the Sudanese border. The river, which originates in Ethiopia, joins with the White Nile near Khartoum, Sudan, with the Nile flows northwards through Egypt to the Mediterranean.