Ethiopia agrees to delay filling of controversial Great Renaissance dam

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian to delay filling of controversial Great Renaissance dam along the Blue Nile, stakeholders agreed on Friday in a move that effectively ended a stalemate that had almost caused divisions between Arab League member states of Nations.

In a virtual meeting chaired by the President of the African Union, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the President of South Africa, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia reached a temporary agreement, ending to the tensions that had engulfed the three nations.

Earlier, the Federal Republic of Ethiopia had planned to start filling the dam next month, a move that was protested by Cairo and Khartoum. Last month, Egypt raised the issue at the United Nations Security Council.

In a statement on Friday, the office of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said that a “legally binding final agreement for all parties emphasizing the prevention of unilateral action, including filling the dam, will be sent in a letter to the UN “. The Security Council will consider it during its discussion session on the question of the Renaissance dam next Monday. “

Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of Sudan, said that “it has been agreed that the filling of the dam will be delayed until an agreement is reached”. Ramaphosa had insisted that the crisis was an “African problem which required an African solution”.

Hamdok’s office said the technical committees of the three countries will try to reach a successful agreement within two weeks, as suggested by Ethiopia.

“Sudan is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the dam and also one of the biggest losers if the risks are not mitigated, so it urges Egypt and Ethiopia to the imminent need … to find a solution, “he added.

Initially, Washington lobbied for a deadlock solution, a decision that has seen the three nations meet in the White House at least three times in the past ten months. President Donald Trump asked them to come up with a “win-win solution”.

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya also participated in the virtual meeting. A fortnight ago, Kenya won the lucrative non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council after crossing Djibouti and would sit on the council for the period 2021-2022.

Political tensions are high between the upstream of Ethiopia and the downstream of Egypt and Sudan after the recent ministerial talks did not lead to an agreement on the filling and the exploitation of the great Ethiopian dam of the Renaissance [GERD], AFP reported.

In recent months, Addis Ababa has threatened to fill the dam, which has caused confusion. Egypt, which views the hydroelectric dam as an existential threat, last week appealed to the UN Security Council to intervene in the dispute.

Addis Ababa has followed suit to complain about Cairo, while Khartoum has expressed concern to the United Nations that Ethiopia is filling in unilaterally without a comprehensive agreement being signed beforehand.

Cairo fears that the dam will severely cut its water supply to the Nile, which supplies nearly 97% of the country’s fresh water needs. Ethiopia says the dam is essential for its electrification and development needs.

In one State, the African Union indicated that the three countries had agreed to postpone filling the tank “until after the signing of an agreement” and negotiations to start at the level of technical committees to reach an agreement in a deadline of two weeks, which is proposed by Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa said on Saturday that it will fill the section of the dam that had been completed while the rest is being completed. He said filling will start in two weeks.

“Ethiopia is expected to start filling the GERD within the next two weeks, during which construction work will continue. It is during this period that the three countries have agreed to reach final agreement on some outstanding issues. . “


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