Arab Parliament Speaker communicates with Security Council president over Ethiopian Dam crisis



Wed, 07 Jul 2021 - 12:11 GMT


Wed, 07 Jul 2021 - 12:11 GMT

FILE - Speaker of the Arab Parliament Adel al-Asoumy

FILE - Speaker of the Arab Parliament Adel al-Asoumy

CAIRO – 7 July 2021: Speaker of the Arab Parliament Adel al-Asoumy sent a message to President of the Security Council for the month of July 2021 and Permanent Representative of France to the UN Nicolas De Riviere demanding the international community to assume responsibility with regard to contributing in the resolution the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue.


Asoumi pointed out to international laws and treaties regulating transboundary rivers underlining that the Nile River is an international one and that no party shall try to monopolize it. "Any attempt to impose a new reality where upstream countries control downstream countries is not acceptable," the Arab Parliament Speaker said.


The Arab parliamentarian added that each of Egypt and Sudan embraced good will during the past negotiation rounds over a whole decade, and adopted responsible and rational positions that reflected their keenness on reaching an agreement that serves the interests of all parties.


"Nevertheless, the intransigent positions of Ethiopia impeded reaching such a deal. "It has become inacceptable that the negotiation process continues endlessly without a solution. It is imperative to conclude a legal, fair and balanced deal that accomplishes the interest of all parties as that is the ideal resolution to the crisis and the ideal solution to preserve the security and stability of the region. That is the role awaited by our people from the Security Council," Asoumy underscored.  


The dispute among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia dates back to May 2011 when Ethiopia started building the dam; Egypt voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters].


Three years later, a series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan began to reach an agreement, while Ethiopia continued the dam construction.


In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam.


In October 2019, Egypt blamed Addis Ababa for hindering a final agreement concerning a technical problem, calling for activating Article No. 10 of the Declaration of Principles, which stipulates that if the three countries could not find a solution to these disputes, they have to ask for mediation.


Washington had brokered tripartite negotiations among the three countries, in the presence of the President of the World Bank (WB) starting from November 6, 2019 until February 27 and 28, 2020.


During these rounds of talks, tangible outcomes were agreed on among the three parties concerning the rules and mechanism of operating the dam and the filling process of the reservoir during the drought and prolonged drought; however, an agreement was not sealed.


Constructions in the Grand Renaissance Dam started on April 2, 2011 at a cost of $4.8 billion. It was built by the Italian construction and engineering company Salini Impergilo. The Italian company is headquartered in Milan. The dam is located on the Blue Nile with a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and is expected to generate up to 6,000 megawatts of power.


The first filling was carried out in 2020 with 4.9 billion cubic meters. Currently, Ethiopia intends to do the second filling in July with at least 13.5 billion cubic meters.



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