The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and how to deal with it will become clear after the UN Security Council’s fateful session on Thursday.
Al-Masry Al-Youm monitored five expected scenarios, as follows –
The UN Security Council is convinced of the great danger posed by the Renaissance Dam to Egypt and Sudan, and then issues a decision adopting the Egyptian-Sudanese point of view to stop the second filling of the dam and any unilateral measures from the Ethiopian side to return to the table of negotiations under the AU auspices. The step requires nine votes from Council members without a veto.
Obligating the Ethiopian side to implement all the agreements related to the Nile River, to which it has been a party since 1902, as these agreements stipulate the amount of water that Egypt and Sudan have right to.
Forming an international committee to supervise the GERD and assess the extent of the damage inflicted on Egypt and Sudan.
Issuing a press statement supporting the Egyptian-Sudanese decision regarding the Renaissance Dam as Tunisia, represented by the Arab Group in the Security Council, had circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute, which has the support of Egypt and Sudan.
Issuing a presidential declaration that has a powerful force towards the Renaissance Dam and its impact on the three parties, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.
The UN Security Council will hold a session on Thursday to discuss the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dilemma.
Egyptian and Sudanese diplomacy has intensified during the past few days to gain the support of Council member states, as Ethiopia insists on taking unilateral measures to announce the start of the second filling process for the second season.
At the Egyptian parliament, the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the House of Representatives Karim Abdel Karim Darwish said that Ethiopia’s second filling of the dam unilaterally threatens international peace and security, and contradicts the obligations and pledges of countries in international covenants to make peaceful endeavors to solve international problems.
He accused Addis Ababa of ignoring all international norms, charters and agreements related to international rivers.
Darwish added that Ethiopia did not respect the principle of African solutions to African problems through marathon rounds of negotiations under the auspices of the AU, and evaded reaching a binding legal agreement to fill and manage the dam.
The problem, he assured, is one that lies with the existing Ethiopian regime and not with the friendly Ethiopian people, who have common historical bonds with Egyptians.
Egypt has always confirmed its keenness to achieve development in Ethiopia without harming Egypt and Sudan’s water rights, he continued.
The Egyptian political leadership has repeatedly stressed that the Egyptian rights will not be diminished or harmed, and that the water issue is an issue of Egyptian and Sudanese national security, Darwish stressed.
The Undersecretary of the Arab Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives Ahmed Fouad Abaza said that the second filling of the GERD on time without reaching a binding agreement with the downstream countries is an assault on Egyptian sovereignty.
The international community has become a witness that Ethiopia has persisted for many years in refusing to reach a binding agreement with the two downstream countries, by prolonging negotiations to impose a fait accompli, he said.
Resorting to the Security Council is the last peaceful move from Egypt, which insists on maintaining the security and stability of the region and prefers to negotiate with Ethiopia under the auspices of the AU and the Security Council, he stressed.
And the undersecretary of the Foreign, Arab and African Affairs Committee in the Senate, Effat al-Sadat, said that what Ethiopia is doing violates international laws and norms that govern projects built on the common basins of international rivers, including the Nile River, whose resources are regulated by agreements and charters that obligate Ethiopia to respect Egypt’s rights and water interests.
Sadat described the current stage as a “dangerous development” that once again reveals Ethiopia’s bad faith.
At the same time he hailed the Foreign Ministry choice in sending a letter, addressed by the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation to the Ethiopian minister, to the President of the UN Security Council to brief him on the issue ahead of the UN session.
The letter addressed Ethiopia’s insistence on taking unilateral measures to impose a fait accompli and fill and operate the Renaissance Dam without an agreement that takes into account the interests of the three countries, and limits the damages of the dam to the two downstream countries, Sadat said.
Sadat warned that what Ethiopia has done increases tension in the region, and said, “It will lead to creating a situation that threatens security and peace, at regional and international levels.”
MP Amal Ramzy, a member of the Senate, called on the international community to intervene and take urgent action to contribute to finding solutions that satisfy all parties to end the Renaissance Dam crisis in order to preserve the security and stability of the region, stressing that the Nile River water is a matter of life for Egypt.
Ramzy warned against the unilateral step that Ethiopia took by announcing the start of the second filling process of the Renaissance Dam, stressing that this step will increase the state of tension, congestion and instability in the region.
Hossam al-Mandoh, a member of the House of Representatives, said that the Ethiopian announcement of the start of the second filling is fueling the crisis, which will have many repercussions that may reach the threat to international and regional peace and security.
He added that there are treaties and laws regulating the use of the waters of the Ethiopian plateau and general principles regulating the uses of rivers in non-navigational affairs. These principles are binding and include the United Nations Convention on International Rivers in 1997, which seeks the equitable use of shared waters and prior notification before establishing any facility on waterways.
The international community has to assume its responsibility towards the crisis that will impact the situation in the region and that its scope may extend to negative impacts on the global economy.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm