CAIRO – 10 July 2021: Head of the African Program at Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies Amani El Tawil said in a phone-in Friday that Ethiopia aims for selling Nile water and that is one of the reasons behind its intransigence about not signing a legal binding agreement with Egypt and Sudan on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
On July 8, a UNSC session was held for members to present their viewpoints on the crisis as well as the foreign ministers of Egypt and Sudan, and the irrigation minister of Ethiopia.
Tawil noted that the United States and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) began taking steps with regard to the Tigray issue only when a humanitarian crisis occurred commenting on the current resort by both downstream countries to the council.
The armed conflict between Tigray people and the forces of the federal government incurred thousands of death, and the displacement of two million individuals, including 50,000 who fled to Sudan. That is in addition to putting 400,000 at the risk of famine.
The renowned researcher in African affairs described the GERD crisis as an "unprecedented challenge" to the existence of Egypt. She pointed out that Ethiopia's stance stems from the support of some international and regional players, including certain states in the Arab Gulf.
Tawil explained that Ethiopia does not possess the capabilities it claims it has over the GERD issue. A case in point is the scene of the 7,000 soldiers who fell captives in Tigray Region.
Tunisia had prepared a draft resolution to be submitted to the UNSC members during the session and to be voted upon later so it would be either adopted by the council or not.
The UN permanent representatives of member states will communicate the draft resolution with the political leaderships of their countries following the session so as if they have any remarks, they shall be put forward in another session to be scheduled for either Monday or Tuesday. Yet, chances it will take place on Tuesday are higher.
Hence, the voting will be carried out on either Wednesday, July 14 or Friday, July 16.
It is noted that Tunisia is one of the 10 elected non-permanent members of the UNSC for the term 2020/2021.
The terms of the resolution it proposed on behalf of the Arab League at the Security Council include:
1 – Demanding Ethiopia to cease the second filling of the GERD
2 – Demanding Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to resume negotiations.
3 – Reaching a binding agreement on GERD in six months.
4 – Demanding the three countries to stop any measure that delays negotiations.
5 – Demanding Ethiopia to stop unilateral decisions.
On July 5, Ethiopia officially informed Egypt and Sudan that the second filling has begun, which is not expected to exceed four billion cubic meters, as indicated by experts.
The first filling was carried out in 2020 with 4.9 billion cubic meters, while the second filling was intended to be 13.5 billion cubic meters.