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Ethiopia Prepares for 3rd GERD Filling, Aboul Gheit Slams UN Security Council

Ethiopia Prepares for 3rd GERD Filling, Aboul Gheit Slams UN Security Council

Tuesday, 14 June, 2022 - 10:30
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is set to become the largest hydropower plant in Africa. (AFP)

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit criticized the international community as Ethiopia is expected to start the third phase of filling the Grand Renaissance Dam’s reservoir during the upcoming rainy season.

Aboul Gheit said Sunday the international community, starting with the United Nations Security Council, has “failed” Egypt and Sudan.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is set to be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa but has been a center of dispute with downstream nations, Egypt and Sudan, ever since work first began in 2011.

Cairo has reiterated its demand that Cairo, Addis Ababa and Khartoum reach a legally-binding agreement to fill and operate the dam.

Ethiopian officials have recently stated that the third filling will take place in August and September.

“The Security Council claims that it is responsible for maintaining international peace and security,” Aboul Gheirt said in televised statements on Sunday.

However, he expressed regret that it hasn’t acted to protect more than 150 million people in Egypt and Sudan.

He further stressed that Egypt will not give up any of its share in the Blue Nile waters, estimated at 55 billion cubic meters.

Aboul Gheit said if Egypt succeeds in persuading Ethiopia to fill the dam reservoir at a reasonable amount and without affecting Cairo and Khartoum’s annual quota, then they will not have to resort to any external political measures.

He urged relevant authorities to work on expanding water circulation, improve modern irrigation tools, rely on groundwater and work on drip irrigation.

The last round of talks between the three countries in Kinshasa ended in early April 2021 with no progress made.

In mid-September, the Security Council called on the three countries to resume African Union-led negotiations, stressing the need to reach a “binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam within a reasonable timetable.”

The Arab League has repeatedly announced its support for the Egyptian and Sudanese positions in this regard and has called on Ethiopia to consider their concerns and reach an agreement that meets the demands of all parties.

This has angered Addis Ababa, which rejected the “unwanted” Arab League intervention.

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