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UN Security Council resolution sought over Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

July 7, 2021 at 11:19 am

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Sudan on 27 November 2020 [EBRAHIM HAMID/AFP/Getty Images]

Diplomatic sources at the UN said on Tuesday that the Arab group within the Security Council is seeking to issue a resolution on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Anadolu has reported. The draft resolution calls on the three countries involved in the Renaissance Dam crisis — Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan — to continue negotiations for a period of six months to reach an agreement on the rules for filling the reservoir and operating the dam.

The text also affirms Ethiopia’s right to generate electricity from the dam without harming the downstream countries. However, Ethiopia notified Egypt and Sudan on Monday that it plans to begin the second phase of filling the reservoir behind the dam without a tripartite agreement. The governments in Cairo and Khartoum reject this as a unilateral step.

Diplomatic sources have ruled out the possibility of adopting the draft resolution at Thursday’s session dedicated to discussing the issue. France’s representative to the UN, Nicolas de Rivière, said that the UN body would not be able to resolve the conflict because it is “beyond the scope” of its expertise. “These three countries should hold discussions and reach logistical arrangements regarding cooperation and participation in water quotas,” he told journalists. France is the current rotating president of the Security Council.

Ethiopia announced on Sunday that it has put its armed forces on high alert around the dam in order to secure the second stage of the filling process.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi described Egypt’s Nile water share in March as a “red line” which, if crossed, could cause “inconceivable instability in the region”.

READ: Ethiopia rejects Arab League’s ‘unwanted’ intervention in dam crisis