Nile crisis deepens dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt: The crisis over the construction of the Grand Dam in Ethiopia is back in the headlines. Estimates vary between the two countries on how to benefit from the Nile’s water and its impact on regional peace, as well as on economic and social activities in the Nile basin countries.
The exit of more than one million and one hundred thousand people from the labor market and the loss of about 15% of the agricultural area in Egypt as a result of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam crisis on Egypt
Nile crisis deepens dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt: The Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Dr. Hani Sweilem before the plenary session of the United Nations Water Conference 2023, “The existence of effective cooperation on transboundary water is an existential and indispensable issue for Egypt, and that the issue requires taking into account that the management of shared water is at the level of the “basin” as an integrated unit, including the integrated management blue and green water.
Equitable use of the common resource
He added: “This also requires taking into account the non-selective commitment to the applicable principles of international law, in particular the principle of cooperation and consultation based on adequate studies, which is an indispensable necessity to ensure the equitable use of the common resource and avoid harm as much as possible.”
He went on to say, “In this regard, the dangers of unilateral measures that do not respect these principles emerge on shared river basins, one of which is the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, whose construction began more than 12 years ago on the Nile River without consultation and without conducting adequate studies on safety or its economic, environmental, social and environmental effects in the riparian countries”.
Nile crisis deepens dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt
“The process of construction, filling and even unilateral commissioning continues. These practices are a violation of international law, including the Declaration of Principles agreement signed in 2015, and are not in line with the Security Council statement issued in September 2012,” says the Egyptian minister.
He pointed out that if these practices continue in tandem with a prolonged period of drought, it could result in the exit of more than one million and one hundred thousand people from the labor market, and the loss of about 15% of Egypt’s agricultural area. With the resulting risks of increasing social and economic tensions and exacerbating illegal immigration, these practices could also lead to a doubling of Egypt’s food import bill.
Ethiopia rejects Egyptian “threats” over Renaissance Dam and affirms its commitment to a negotiated solution
The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry confirmed its rejection of the statement attributed to Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which threatens Addis Ababa that all options are open, and called the statement “irresponsible”.
Nile crisis: Violation” of the UN Charter
In a statement, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said the statements of the Egyptian Foreign Minister were a “flagrant violation” of the UN Charter and the Constitutive Act of the African Union, and renewed the call for a negotiated solution to the Renaissance Dam, affirming its commitment to a settlement “in the interest of all.
For its part, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that negotiations with Ethiopia are currently at a standstill.
Shoukry said in a televised address on the Egyptian channel “Cairo and the People” that his country has the right to defend the capabilities and interests of its people, and to adopt disciplined positions that take into account all considerations and relationships.
Addis Ababa confirmed its intention to complete the construction of the dam
He added: “All options are open in the Renaissance Dam crisis, and all alternatives remain available… Egypt has its capabilities and its external relations, and it has its capabilities.”
Addis Ababa confirmed its intention to complete the construction of the dam and called for a resolution of the dispute within the African House. Foreign Ministry spokesman Meles Elm said the Nile is African and disputes over it must be resolved in the African House, calling for an end to the referral of the Renaissance Dam issue to the UN Security Council or the League of Arab States.
The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed that his country continues to complete the construction of the dam, indicating that the objective is to achieve its development projects and provide electricity to 65 million Ethiopians who live in darkness, stressing that what he described as previous colonial agreements are old and his country will not accept them. Nile crisis deepens dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt.
Egyptian experts threaten a “disaster” for Egypt
Egyptian experts confirmed the determination of Ethiopia to keep him a fixed share and its uses equivalent to 18 billion cubic meters per year, pointing out that due to the semi-stable and sustainable flow, Sudan will be able to use 12 billion cubic meters per year in addition to what it becomes now, because Sudan considers it a right for him to compensate for what it was.You leave that to Egypt in recent years.
They added that as a result of what Sudan and Ethiopia will grasp, Egypt’s share will decrease by 30 billion cubic meters per year, and in the next two years, the fourth and fifth fillings of the Renaissance Dam will take place at a rate of about 30 billion cubic meters per year.
They said that after completing the filling of the dam, the fixed annual deficit on the part of Egypt will be 30 billion cubic meters per year, noting that it is certain that the needs of drinking and industry will be provided without decrease, but agricultural consumption will be in deficit. of 30 billion cubic meters per year.
The most dangerous scenario – in the opinion of water experts – will occur in the years of drought, when the water reserves of the dam lake will be insufficient for Egypt, and what this lake has provided in the eighties will not be available.
They concluded that the Renaissance Dam is the disaster that Egypt has allowed, and with the increase in population, life in Egypt will become almost impossible, demanding the destruction of the Ethiopian dam, pointing out that it is available, hitting the side cumulus dam and reducing its volume to 14 billion cubic meters per year instead of 75 billion cubic meters. ).
Ethiopians point to a luck of trust
On the other hand, Yassin Ahmed, director of the Ethiopian Institute for Popular Diplomacy, said that Ethiopia always welcomes the negotiations, pointing out that sister Egypt is the one that has raised mistrust.
Ahmed pointed out that there is a crisis of lack of trust on the part of the Ethiopian side towards Egypt, due to its tendency to internationalize the dam issue, once in the Arab League and once in the Security Council.
The Ethiopian expert concluded in statements to the media that the solution lies in Egypt’s acceptance of a return to negotiations under the auspices of the African Union, calling on Egypt to abandon the imposition of impossible conditions, which are represented in what it claims historical rights over the Nile .
He concluded by stressing that there are no so-called historical rights in international law. Rather, it is an international law that codifies the course of international navigation and recognizes the common benefit of countries of the waters of international rivers.
For Ethiopia, this dam is necessary to fill its energy deficit.
Ethiopia called on all concerned to take note of what it called Egypt’s flagrant violation of the principles of international relations.
“If approached in good faith and with full respect for the principles of international law, an amicable solution between the three countries is within reach through negotiations under the auspices of the African Union,” the Ethiopian authorities said.
“Once again, Ethiopia reiterates its calls on the parties to re-engage the African Union platform and reach a negotiated solution on GERD. For its part, Ethiopia remains committed to a win-win resolution of this issue,” the Addis Ababa statement said.
Nile crisis deepens dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt.