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UNSC urges Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia to resume GERD talks

September 16, 2021
The UN Security Council has encouraged Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to resume AU-led negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) to reach a mutually acceptable agreement on filling and operating the dam.
The UN Security Council has encouraged Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to resume AU-led negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) to reach a mutually acceptable agreement on filling and operating the dam.

NEW YORK — The UN Security Council has encouraged Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to resume AU-led negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) to reach a mutually acceptable agreement on filling and operating the dam.

In a presidential statement, the UNSC underlined the need to double efforts to reach an agreement “within a reasonable timeframe that ensures the interests of all parties equitably”.

“The Council called upon the three countries to take forward the African Union-led process in a construction and cooperative manner,” reads the statement.

It also invited the African Union to consider updating the Council, if necessary, on its efforts. The Council, however, underscored that this statement does not set out principles or precedent in any trans-boundary water disputes.

It argued that it is not a “competent” body in the technical and administrative disputes over the rivers and the sources of water. It advised the three countries to return to their 2015 Declaration of Principles on the GERD project.

Under the deal, the three countries are committed to cooperation, a fair usage of water and a peaceful settlement of the conflicts.

Despite the progress made in this crisis, the three parties have not reached a consensus yet regarding some key aspects, including managing the long-term drought crisis and a mechanism of settling conflicts.

Meanwhile, Egypt's Foreign Ministry welcomed the statement, saying it is a “key push “for efforts to make a success of the negotiating African path.

The ministry said the UN statement demands Ethiopia to engage seriously and with a sincere political will in the talks to reach a legally binding deal on the filling and operating of the dam, in accordance with the Council's statement.

The UNSC hoped the African Union-led talks would reach a binding deal “within a reasonable timeframe” over the operation of a giant hydropower dam on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia.

Egypt and Sudan had both called on the council to help resolve the dispute after Ethiopia began filling the reservoir behind its GERD in July for a second year. Ethiopia is opposed to any Council involvement.

In a formal statement, agreed by consensus, the 15-member Security Council called “upon the three countries to take forward the AU-led negotiation process in a constructive and cooperative manner.” — Agencies


September 16, 2021
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