Egypt Rejects Any Measure that Violates its Nile Water Rights

Egypt’s Sisi and Chairperson of the African Union Commission hold talks in Cairo. (Egyptian presidential spokesman)
Egypt’s Sisi and Chairperson of the African Union Commission hold talks in Cairo. (Egyptian presidential spokesman)
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Egypt Rejects Any Measure that Violates its Nile Water Rights

Egypt’s Sisi and Chairperson of the African Union Commission hold talks in Cairo. (Egyptian presidential spokesman)
Egypt’s Sisi and Chairperson of the African Union Commission hold talks in Cairo. (Egyptian presidential spokesman)

Egyptian President has stressed his country’s commitment to reaching comprehensive, binding and legal agreement on regulating the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. (GERD)

During a meeting with Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki in Cairo, he reiterated his rejection of any measure or action that would violate Egypt’s rights to Nile waters.

Sisi received Faki on Sunday days before a scheduled AU summit.

Faki, for his part, praised Egypt’s efforts, stressing the importance of continuing intense coordination to resolve the dam dispute and reaching a fair and balanced agreement.

According to presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady, the officials discussed several political developments and various conflicts in Africa, including the situation in the Horn of Africa and Libya.

Sisi said Cairo “has not (and will not) spare any effort to support its African brothers and will always seek cooperation, construction and development for the sake of all African countries.”

Development in Africa begins first with promoting stability and establishing an integrated infrastructure that forms a base, which allows linking African countries together, thus promoting the desired goal of economic and regional integration, a presidency statement read.

It quoted Faki as highlighting Cairo’s role and influence under Sisi in the continent, saying the AU Looks up to it as a “strong pillar of joint African action.”

He expressed confidence that Egypt “will continue to promote development efforts in Africa and maintain security and political stability in the continent.”

For nearly a decade, the AU-sponsored talks between Cairo, Addis Ababa and Khartoum over the operation and filling of the mega-dam Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile have faltered.

Egypt and Sudan fear the dam will affect their shares of the Nile waters and stress the need to reach a binding agreement that guarantees the rights and interests of the three countries, and includes a mechanism for settling disputes. Ethiopia, however, rejects “restricting its rights to use its water resources.”

The 38th two-day ordinary session of the AU’s Executive Council at the ministerial level is scheduled to be held via videoconference on Feb. 3. The 34th two-day ordinary session of the AU’s Assembly of the Heads of State and Government is scheduled for Feb. 6.



Food Piles Up at Gaza Crossing as Aid Agencies Say Unable to Work

Humanitarian aid for Gaza has piled up at a crucial border crossing - AFP
Humanitarian aid for Gaza has piled up at a crucial border crossing - AFP
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Food Piles Up at Gaza Crossing as Aid Agencies Say Unable to Work

Humanitarian aid for Gaza has piled up at a crucial border crossing - AFP
Humanitarian aid for Gaza has piled up at a crucial border crossing - AFP

Days after Israel announced a daily pause in fighting on a key route to allow more aid into Gaza, chaos in the besieged Palestinian territory has left vital supplies piled up and undistributed in the searing summer heat, AFP reported.

More than eight months of war, sparked by Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel, have led to dire humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip and repeated UN warnings of famine.

Desperation among Gaza's 2.4 million population has increased as fighting rages, sparking warnings from agencies that they are unable to deliver aid.

Israel says it has let supplies in and called on agencies to step up deliveries.

"The breakdown of public order and safety is increasingly endangering humanitarian workers and operations in Gaza," the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, said in a briefing late Friday.

"Alongside the fighting, criminal activities and the risk of theft and robbery has effectively prevented humanitarian access to critical locations."

But Israel says it has allowed hundreds of trucks of aid into southern Gaza, trading blame with the United Nations over why the aid is stacking up.

It shared aerial footage of containers lined up on the Gazan side of the Kerem Shalom crossing and more trucks arriving to add to the stockpile.

With civil order breaking down in Gaza, the UN says it has been unable to pick up any supplies from Kerem Shalom since Tuesday, leaving crucial aid in limbo.

A deputy UN spokesman this week said the crossing "is operating with limited functionality, including because of fighting in the area".

William Schomburg, International Committee of the Red Cross chief in Rafah, said arranging lorries from the Egyptian side in particular was complicated.

"It's not just a question of civil order, but also the fact that you often have to cross battlefields," he said in an online briefing, adding that the area near Kerem Shalom had been hostile.

"There were even rockets fired nearby. So this whole area is particularly complicated to navigate for reasons linked to the hostilities and for reasons linked to general security."

Israel's coordinator for civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories, known as COGAT, said Thursday "the content of 1,200 aid trucks awaits collection by UN aid agencies", saying a lack of distribution was responsible.

Earlier in the week, COGAT spokesman Shimon Freedman told reporters at the crossing the daily pause on a southern road into Gaza was designed to allow the UN "to collect and distribute more aid" alongside an Israeli military presence.

He said most of the aid had not moved because "organizations have not taken sufficient steps to improve their distribution capacity".

Aid agencies have instead pointed to Israel's offensive on the southern city of Rafah, which pushed out more than a million people and closed a border crossing with Egypt, as a deepening humanitarian crisis hampered relief efforts.

Schomburg described Rafah City as a "ghost town".

"It is a ghost town in the sense that you see very few people, high levels of destruction, and really just another symbol of the unfolding tragedy that has become Gaza over the last nine months," he said.

The UN food agency has said its aid convoys have been looted inside Gaza by "desperate people".

As both sides stall, it is the civilians in Gaza who are paying the price.

"We don't see any aid. Everything we get to eat comes from our own money and it's all very expensive," said Umm Mohammad Zamlat, 66, from northern Gaza but now living in Khan Yunis in the south.

"Even agencies specialized in aid deliveries are not able to provide anything to us," she added.