Last Night’s Talk Shows on 6 April 2021
The GERD impasse was the top story on the airwaves last night: The nation’s talking heads weren’t happy with Ethiopia last night, blaming our upstream neighbor for the latest failure in the ongoing GERD saga after talks in Kinshasa ended yesterday without an agreement on how to proceed with the negotiations. Former irrigation minister Hossam El Moghazy told Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa that expecting success was always a long shot, given the history of failed attempts. Ethiopia is still continuing its pattern of equivocation and doesn’t want to reach a binding agreement to be able to control the Nile water to either generate electricity or build further dams, he added, highlighting that Egypt and Sudan might “run out of patience” if no progress is seen within three months (watch, runtime: 14:53 | 8:59).
Time to hope for a US intervention? The only possible way out is that Ethiopia postpones the second filling of the GERD at the behest of the US, Tarek Fahmy, political science professor at Cairo University, told Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime 9:37). He added Ethiopia might seek a partial agreement that could include postponing the dam’s operation.
Warnings of conflict: Ambassador Mohamed Hegazy, former assistant foreign minister, told Masaa DMC that the current talks are Egypt's last genuine attempt to reach an agreement and Ethiopia should be aware that the second filling or other unilateral action could significantly destabilize the region (watch, runtime 6:11). Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies advisor Hani Raslan told Hadeeth Al Kahira that Egypt is continuing to work for an agreement, yet Ethiopia’s actions risks igniting a regional conflict (watch, runtime 8:25). Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said earlier this week that the negotiations would be the last chance for the three countries to reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the dam before the rainy season when Ethiopia plans to fill the GERD for the second time, an act that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has called a “red line.”
So, what’s next? Unconfirmed press reports had suggested that the three countries’ leaders could step in for a higher level summit if the ministerial meetings failed to yield a resolution.
The results of the Ever Given investigation could be announced this week: That’s according to Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie, who told Hadeeth Al Kahira last night that the results are expected in the next 2-3 days (watch, runtime 5:17). Normal traffic was finally resumed yesterday, with 85-90 ships making the trip.