Last Night’s Talk Shows on 21 March 2021
Aside from the latest on our vaccination program (see above), the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations were at the top of the agenda for the talking heads last night.
Once Ethiopia moves ahead with the second filling of the dam’s reservoir in July, Egypt and Sudan will be forced into a position where Ethiopia has even more of an upper hand and will have the ability to impose whatever conditions it wants on its downstream neighbors, former Irrigation Minister Mohamed Nasr Allam told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi. Egypt’s water security won’t directly be affected by the second filling, particularly as the Aswan High Dam can cope with the influx of water from that phase, but the real danger is what this phase represents for us down the line (watch, runtime: 14:22).
Ethiopia is trying to use the GERD situation to position itself as an African power, African Affairs expert at Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies Amani El Tawil told Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 11:02). El Hekaya’s Amr Adib echoed El Tawil’s thoughts, saying that Ethiopia is taking a “selfish” approach to further its own interests (watch, runtime: 4:01).
The perspective from Sudan: Khartoum “doesn’t have any options” in the impasse with Ethiopia except for bringing in international mediators or resorting to an outright war, Sudanese pundit Shawky AbdelAzim told Lamees. Sudan’s position on the matter is also made more complicated because of the ongoing border dispute with Ethiopia, which AbdelAzim said Addis Ababa is “mixing” with the GERD issue. The ball is now in the international community’s court to interfere, after Ethiopia has “made it clear” that it has no desire to reach a binding agreement with Egypt and Sudan over the dam, he said (watch, runtime: 6:09).