Egypt files complaint over Ethiopia’s plan to fill dam

Egypt has filed a complaint to the UN Security Council in protest to Ethiopia’s plan to fill the controversial hydro-power dam project known as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Ethiopia is set to begin filling the GERD reservoir in June and July. This has raised serious concerns from Egypt.

The water filling strategy for the dam has long been the most contentious issue and yet unresolved in the Nile talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.

Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has to this effect, submitted a 15-page complaint letter to the Security Council via Mohammed Endris, the Egyptian ambassador to the UN.

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“Ethiopia’s unilateral filling of GERD before reaching a final agreement with downstream countries on the rules governing the filling and dam operation is inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation between co-riparian countries that share an international watercourse and amounts to material breach of Ethiopia’s legal obligations” Egypt states in the complaint.

Cairo warned that Ethiopia’s move potentially poses a serious threat to regional peace and security. 

“This [filling the dam] would jeopardise the water security, food security and indeed the very existence of over 100 million Egyptians who are entirely dependent on the resource of the Nile River for their livelihoods”

The document also warns that water filling strategy should not be initiated through Ethiopia without consulting downstream countries.

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Egypt adds that Ethiopia’s move in 2011 to launch the massive dam project without notifying or consulting downstream countries was in violation to its obligation under international law claiming that the country has been in serious negotiations with Ethiopia after the latter commenced construction of the multi-billion dollar power plant project being built along the Nile River near the Sudanese border.

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