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Ethiopia Rejects UN Intervention in GERD Dispute

Ethiopia Rejects UN Intervention in GERD Dispute

Saturday, 26 June, 2021 - 10:30
President of South Sudan Silva Kiir receives Egyptian Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty in Juba on Friday, June 25, 2021. (Egyptian government)

Ethiopia slammed both Egypt and Sudan in a letter addressed to the United Nations Security Council, accusing them of making false allegations about the dam Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile.

In a statement on Friday, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said the letter expressed its rejection to the latest attempts by Cairo and Khartoum to involve the UN in the African dispute.

“Egypt and Sudan’s recent actions are simply a continuation of a well-orchestrated scheme to undermine the African Union-led process and eventually declare it ineffective,” it said.

Since the AU-led negotiation kicked off over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Egypt and Sudan have tried to disrupt the process by bringing up unrelated matters in the discussions, the letter read.

They unnecessarily securitized and internationalized the issue and let the Arab league to intervene to further complicate the issue, it claimed.

The statement pointed to Addis Ababa’s rejection of any UN intervention, saying the AU must resolve the dispute.

It further stressed that the second filling of the dam reservoir will move forward as scheduled in the upcoming rainy season in July.

Cairo and Khartoum insist on reaching a legally and binding agreement on the dam. They fear the potential negative impact of GERD on the flow of their annual share of the Nile’s 55.5 billion cubic meters of water.

Earlier this month, the Arab League called on the Security Council to meet soon to address the dispute.

In contrast, Sudan’s Foreign Minister Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi called on the Security Council to meet as soon as possible to tackle the GERD and “its impact on the safety and security of millions of people.”

On June 11, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry sent a letter to the president of the Security Council to brief him on the latest developments in this regard.

Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty refuted Ethiopia’s “allegations” that the dam will provide electricity for its citizen and the neighboring countries.

During his meeting with President of South Sudan Silva Kiir on Friday, he stressed that officials in Addis Ababa have been highlighting the importance of the dam in power generation, while the government seeks to export this power.

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