Egypt censures Ethiopia for continuing the unilateral filling of GERD

Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Sep 2023

Ethiopia's continuous filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) reservoir without an agreement with downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, violates the 2015 Declaration of Principles and international law, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry stressed on Sunday.

A file photo of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia. Photo : AFP


The Egyptian statement came a few hours after Ethiopia officially announced that it had completed the fourth and final filling of the GERD reservoir.  

“The Declaration of Principles states that the three countries must agree on the rules for filling and operating the GERD before any filling begins,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said, citing the 2015 Declaration of Principles signed by the three countries in Khartoum.

The ministry added that Ethiopia's unilateral actions ignore the rights and interests of the downstream countries and their water security, otherwise guaranteed by international law.

“The negotiations which have recently resumed to reach an agreement in 4 months have been compromised by Ethiopia’s approach,” the statement said, referring to the revived talks between the three countries in Cairo in August, which had failed to achieve any tangible results due to Ethiopia’s recalcitrance.

Nevertheless, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry hoped that the upcoming round of talks in Addis Ababa would achieve a significant breakthrough that paves the way to reaching an agreement on the rules for filling and operating the GERD.

The last round of talks, hosted by Cairo in August, is the first to be held after the talks, sponsored by the African Union, collapsed in April 2021.   

Egypt has repeatedly maintained that these Ethiopian actions violate international law and the Presidential Statement of the UN Security Council issued in September 2021.

Egypt, a country suffering from water scarcity, has repeatedly stressed its support for constructing the GERD as part of Ethiopia's right to development as long as it does not harm its historic right to a fair share of the Nile water.

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