Egypt Seeks UN Urgent Intervention Over GERD Dispute

Egypt Seeks UN Urgent Intervention on GERD Dispute

Egypt has said it relies on the UN Security Council’s strong action in its long-standing dispute with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Egyptian Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel Aty stated that he expects the UN Security Council to issue a decisive resolution concerning the GERD dispute. He explained that Cairo presented a comprehensive document on the protection of its water rights.

Amid fears among riparian states Cairo, and Khartoum that the dam on the Nile tributary would upset its water governance, Addis Ababa has pushed on with the filling of its reservoir, which has entered second stage.

Egyptian Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel Aty

Two weeks ago, Egypt and Sudan sent two separate letters to the UN Security Council demanding its members to convene an urgent meeting to address disputes over the dam. They expressed concerns that the issue could have serious consequences that threaten peace and security throughout the region.

It requested the UN to engage in the dispute to help reach a peaceful settlement. It also updated the Council on the developments pertaining the tripartite negotiations so far.

Ethiopia started building the 1.8 kilometres long dam in 2011. The action of Egypt and Sudan was informed by, Ethiopia’s unilateral intention on the second phase filling of its giant hydropower dam in July.

A week ago, Ethiopia sent a letter to the president of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) wherein it stated that the recent action of Egypt and Sudan is a continuation of their intent to undermine the AU-led process and eventually declare it ineffective.

Few weeks ago, Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki led a high-ranking delegation, including AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, Head of the AU Liaison Office in Khartoum Mohamed Belaiche to meet Sudanese,Egyptian and Ethiopian Officials on the dam disputes.

Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Migration and Tunisians Abroad Othman Jerandi met in Rome with Norway’s Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide on the sidelines of a joint meeting of the G20 Foreign and Development Ministers, suggesting a possibility of holding such meeting.

Reaffirming his country’s position on the matter, Aty stated that Tunisia is exploring all diplomatic channels to resolve the dam crisis, adding that “Egypt wants peace, and it is keen to protect the rights of all Nile basin countries.”

They deliberated on the UN Security Council agenda for July, including the possibility of raising the issue of GERD and coordinating positions with the remaining member states.

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