Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have agreed on Friday that Addis Ababa suspends the completion of a gigantic-dam. This is part of an overall agreement on a project that has increased conflicts between the three nations. Despite fierce opposition from downstream Egypt and Sudan, Ethiopia had originally planned to commence filling the mega Nile River dam the following month. Egypt tabled the disagreement before the UN a week ago.
The office of Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said on Friday that “a legally binding final agreement for all parties stressing the prevention of any unilateral moves, including the filling of the dam, will be sent in a letter to the UN Security Council to consider it in its session discussing the Renaissance Dam issue next Monday.”
Sudan’s Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok, said in a declaration that “the three nations decided that Ethiopia postpones the filling of the dam until they establish a consensus.” His office said that technical teams for all the three nations would aim to find a final agreement within a fortnight, as proposed by Ethiopia. Sudan is among the major beneficiaries of the dam. But also it is one of the countries which will be hit the hardest if the dangers are not counterbalanced. Therefore, Sudan encourages Egypt and Ethiopia to consider an eventual resolution that won’t cost them too.
The United Nations and African Union Involvement in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan Dam Conflict
After South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, chairing a simulated the African Union Executive Council conference, a significant agreement emerged. Among the conference participants was the Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta. The conflicts among upstream Ethiopia and downstream Egypt and Sudan have increased after subsequent official discussions. None of the meetings yielded an agreement for the filling and functioning of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Addis Ababa spoke about their intentions to begin filling the dam on the Blue Nile in July. Egypt considers the hydroelectric project an imminent threat. Thus, last week, they called upon the United Nations Security Council to intervene. Addis Ababa followed up and protested against Cairo, while Khartoum voiced outrage at the UN over the arbitrary filling of Ethiopia without even having a substantive agreement.
Cairo is worried that the project would slash its Nile water intake substantially. The Nile satisfies almost 97% of the country’s freshwater demands. The dam is important to Ethiopia’s electricity generation and construction requirements. The Nile is a support system that supplies water and energy to the 10 countries it passes through.
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