The UN Security Council is due to hold a meeting on Thursday on Ethiopia’s controversial GERD dam on the Nile. Sudan and Egypt have stepped up to demand a solution through the mediation of the Security Council but the outcome does not seem to be positive because the negotiations are deadlocked.
The GERD dam built since 2011 by Ethiopia upstream of the Nile River divides countries in the region that depend on water, a vital and scarce resource for which the race must be done now.
The water war is on and could look like a real war if countries fail to find consensus. And it is the heavyweight, Egypt, an African military power, which should launch hostilities if the international bodies do not find a way out.
And if war on the battlefield is not the order of the day, diplomacy is on the wane and still cannot get Ethiopia to resonate, which could create rations situations. water in Sudan and Egypt which is 97% dependent on the Nile.
Indeed, Egypt, a country with a semi-arid climate, considers the GERD dam called “Renaissance” as a direct threat to its water supply. Sudan, for its part, if it has the same concerns, they nevertheless believe that the dams will be able to relieve it of the phenomenon of flooding.
At the request of the two countries, Tunisia, which represents the Arab countries on the Security Council as a non-permanent member, requested a public session of the council, and Egypt and Sudan should be represented this Thursday at a ministerial level, Ethiopia will also be present even being against the idea of this meeting.
And if Egypt and Sudan push for the conflict to be brought to the level of the Security Council, a problem remains, it is that it is managed by another organization, continental this time, namely the Union African.
A position shared by many diplomats, in particular the French ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Rivière. “I do not think that the Security Council can resolve the question of the roadblock itself,” he told media when France is chairing the Security Council in July. “We can open the door, invite the three countries to the table, express their concerns, encourage them to return to the negotiations to find a solution,” he added.
For Thursday, Tunisia prepared a draft resolution which calls on Ethiopia to stop filling its dam while asking “Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to resume their negotiations as jointly requested by the president of the ‘African Union and the Secretary General of the UN, in order to finalize, within six months, the text of a binding agreement on the filling and management of GERD ”.
Negotiations between the three countries stumbled over deep disagreements and discussions have not been able to resume since April. Ethiopia, which has already completed the first phase of filling in the summer of 2020, recently announced that the second phase will start with or without an agreement with Sudan and Egypt.
While the country considers that this dam is vital to meet the energy needs of its 110 million inhabitants, Tunisia, in its draft resolution indicates that the objective would be to “guarantee the capacity of Ethiopia to produce electricity. hydropower from GERD while avoiding inflicting significant damage to the water security of downstream states ”.
If the text is adopted by the 14 members, the three countries should “refrain from any statement or measure that could jeopardize the negotiation process”.