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Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Sudan wants the UN Security Council to wade into GERD dispute

Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam Al-Sadiq has called on the UN Security Council to hold an urgent session to discuss the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) impasse, and push for a quick resolution before Ethiopia resumes unilaterally filling the dam next month, Sudanese state news agency SUNA reports. In a letter sent to the council, Al Sadiq also called on the African Union and the international community to support its position on the GERD support, and bolster mediation efforts between the three countries. The minister said Sunday that she has requested that the UN Security Council consider imposing sanctions on Ethiopia over the GERD.

A draft resolution is being drawn up by Cairo and Khartoum to be presented to the nine-member UN Security Council for a vote, the Arab League’s Permanent Observer at the UN Maged Abdel Fattah said in a phone-in to Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 17:04). The Arab League will meet at the weekend to put the final touches on the draft resolution ahead of shipping it to the council for deliberation, in hopes that Ethiopia would dial back tensions following the elections this week, Abdel Fattah suggested.

But Sudan doesn’t seem to think Ethiopia is amenable to compromise — it’s irrigation minister likened Sudan’s PM to deposed strongman Omar Bashir: Sudan’s Irrigation Minister Yasir Abbas tells Bloomberg that Ethiopia’s civil war is making it less amenable to accept a compromise over its use of the Nile’s water with Sudan and Egypt. Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed and his ruling party are taking a hard line on foreign policy to shore up support domestically, amid the ongoing ethnic conflict in Tigray, he said,

The UN Security Council could adopt a presidential statement on Ethiopia to call on Addis Ababa from proceeding with plans for the dam’s second filling until a three-way agreement is reached, political commentator Mostafa El Fekky told Yahduth fi Misr (watch, runtime: 2:02) last night. While not legally binding, presidential statements are often issued to reflect the consensus of the council on a certain issue in case a resolution cannot be reached for some reason, according to El Fekky.

Egypt and Sudan have both been trying to rally international support against the GERD, with Cairo appealing to the council earlier this month to take action against Ethiopia. An emergency Arab League meeting called by the two countries last week led to Arab states calling on the Security Council to hold an urgent session to discuss the dispute.

As well as countries in the region: In past weeks, Egypt has strengthened military ties with several states, signing defense agreements with Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Burundi, while President Abdel Fattah El Sisi visited Djibouti for talks with the country’s president.

GERD was the subject of discussion in South Sudan yesterday, when Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty met yesterday with his South Sudanese counterpart Manawa Peter on the second day of his visit to South Sudan, the Irrigation Ministry said in a statement. This came following Abdel Aty’s sitdown on Monday with the country’s foreign minister, at which the two talked GERD and discussed a joint higher committee meeting set to take place in Cairo next month.

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