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Sunday, 31 July 2022

Egypt protests GERD filling at UN Security Council

Here we go again: Egypt has again appealed to the UN Security Council to intervene in the dispute with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD). In a letter to the council last week, Egypt declared its “objection and complete rejection” of Addis Ababa’s decision to fill the dam’s reservoir without an agreement with Egypt and Sudan, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The letter was submitted a few days after Ethiopia notified Egypt that it would continue to fill the dam this year for the third year in a row during the current rainy season, which Egypt claimed was a violation of international law.

REFRESHER- The dam has been a persistent source of tension between Ethiopia and the two downstream countries in recent years as Addis Ababa persisted with filling the reservoir despite not reaching an agreement with Cairo and Khartoum. Negotiations have been stalled since last summer when Ethiopia embarked on the second filling even as Egypt lodged a formal appeal to the UN Security Council to force it to the negotiating table.

The security council has repeatedly declined to weigh in on the dispute: Intense lobbying last year failed to persuade the council to throw its weight behind Egypt. The council instead urged the three countries to continue with the African Union-led negotiations, a process which Egypt and Sudan have refused to take part in over the past year, calling for new mediators to be brought in to reach an agreement.

The United States and European Union have similarly issued bland pablum about then need for a negotiated solution, stopping far short of throwing their diplomatic weight into brokering on.

The story got some notice in the foreign press over the weeked: AFP | The National | African Business.

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