Egyptian Govt Receives Parliament’s Support in GERD Dispute

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has been a source of discord for years. (AP)
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has been a source of discord for years. (AP)
TT

Egyptian Govt Receives Parliament’s Support in GERD Dispute

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has been a source of discord for years. (AP)
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has been a source of discord for years. (AP)

The Egyptian government received parliament’s support in its handling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute.

On Monday, the parliamentary agriculture, irrigation and food security committee, headed by Hesham al-Hosary, agreed to Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty’s statement before legislature, weeks ago, in which he explained the government’s plan to address water challenges.

The challenges, he said, include water shortages and a growing population.

He stressed the importance of explaining the ministry’s plan to confront these challenges, develop the irrigation system, replace and rehabilitate drainage and irrigation stations and spread awareness among citizens to conserve water.

Abdel Aty, for his part, said the GERD is one of the most significant challenges facing the country, “in light of our 97 percent dependence on the waters of the Nile River.”

“We have so far failed to reach a binding agreement on filling and operating the dam,” he added, noting that Egypt is facing a second challenge related to climate change.

“Among the challenges are the increase in population and the shortage of water resources, as we currently need 114 billion cubic meters annually, while we only have 60 billion meters available,” he explained.

Cairo fears the potential negative impact of GERD on the flow of its annual share of the Nile’s 55.5 billion cubic meters of water.

Ethiopia has been building the Dam on the main tributary of the Nile since 2011, and the Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy announced it had completed about 78 percent of the construction so far.

Negotiations that took place under the auspices of the African Union between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan were suspended after they failed in January to reach a consensus on the rules for filling and operating the dam.

Cairo has expressed its political determination to reach a fair and balanced agreement that achieves Ethiopia’s development goals while preserving Egypt’s rights and protecting the two downstream countries from the dam’s potential dangers.

Addis Ababa, however, refuses to legalize any agreement reached, which binds it to specific measures to alleviate the drought.

Egypt is looking forward to the African Union (AU) stance in this regard and is hoping to start a new round of negotiations under the new AU presidency.

The AU has been sponsoring the so far faltered talks between Cairo, Addis Ababa and Khartoum since July 2020, despite the intervention of international actors such as the United States and the European Union with observers.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said his country hopes the new AU chairperson, President of Congo Felix Tshisekedi, will resume negotiations on the GERD.



Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
TT

Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces agreed with the United Nations on some steps to ease aid delivery in areas under its control, a member of the RSF told Reuters on Thursday.

The Sudanese army has not reached any understandings on aid delivers with the RSF, he added. It is unclear if these steps could be implemented without the army's participation.

Meanwhile, a key supply route into Sudan's Darfur region, deemed at risk of famine by a global monitor, has been cut off due to heavy rains, a World Food Program official told Reuters on Thursday.
The UN agency has described Sudan as the world's biggest hunger crisis, with the western Darfur region most at risk as Sudan's 15-month civil war that has displaced millions and sparked ethnic violence grinds on.
WFP's Country Director Eddie Rowe said thousands of tons of aid are stranded at the Tina crossing on the Chad border, prompting the body to reopen talks with the army-aligned government to open an alternative, all-weather crossing further south called Adre.
"You have these huge rivers. As I speak now, our convoy, which is supposed to move over 2000 metric tons is stranded," he told Reuters from Port Sudan. Asked on the status of the talks that resumed this week, he said: "It's 50/50.”
WFP is now seeking clearances to move a large 70-truck convoy via a little-used, over 1000 kilometer route from Port Sudan to Darfur which Rowe said will involve crossing the battle lines of both the Sudan Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces and various militias.
He added that this mostly desert route has worked in the past but outside of the rainy season and that the last journey took weeks and was "fraught with a lot of challenges.”
In a separate interview, Mona Rishmawi, a member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan, told Reuters that she had met Darfur refugees in Chad who told her stories of escaping with virtually no water and eating grass along the route. "There's no doubt that people are starving," she said.