In the special meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on July 8, Egypt and Sudan emphasized that Ethiopia’s uncompromising stance would lead to undesirable results. Both countries called for compliance with the “2015 Declaration of Principles”.
At the call of Egypt and Sudan, the UNSC held a special session on GERD on Thursday, July 8. At the meeting, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam Al-Mahdi emphasized that, if a binding agreement is not reached on the operation and environmental impacts of the dam that Ethiopia has built on the Blue Nile, it will pose threats to the rights of the Egyptian and Sudanese people over the Nile water.
In this context, the ambassadors of UNSC member states pointed out that GERD negotiations should be restarted as soon as possible under the auspices of the African Union.
The representative of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which continues to hold the current presidency of the African Union, at the UNSC pointed out that the GERD project poses a threat to the downstream countries Sudan and Egypt, which are dependent on the Nile River.
The Congolese representative stated that the African Union has made several attempts to reach an agreement on the Renaissance Dam, but there are still controversial issues between the three countries regarding the filling and operation of the dam. Furthermore, the Congolese representative emphasized that 90% of the technical issues in GERD have already been resolved and the three countries only need to agree on the rest of the legal and technical aspects.
Ethiopian Water Minister Seleshi Bekele accused Egypt and Sudan of stopping the African Union-mediated talks on GERD, emphasizing that the UNSC should deal with GERD with a focus on regional development rather than security. Bekele also expressed his regret that Egypt and Sudan decided to present the GERD issue to the UN Security Council.
In this context, Bekele added that Egypt and Sudan insist on maintaining their “colonial legacy” on the Nile and Ethiopia does not need to convince Egypt and Sudan about the benefits they will derive from GERD.