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Thursday January 14, 2021

The African Union proposes one-on-one meetings with the parties concerned with the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

the world – Egypt

This aims to discuss their respective views on the Renaissance Dam negotiations, away from the tripartite and six-party meetings, observers and experts, in order to preserve the African track of negotiations, and to emphasize the commitment of the Commission and the President to make tangible progress before the Democratic Republic of the Congo takes over the presidency of the Union.

The sources said, in exclusive statements to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that the Commission offered to hold these meetings in secret, given the burden the declaration represents on all parties participating in the negotiations, due to the clarity of the great difference in views, and the negative reflection of the circulation of data in the media. On the relations between the three countries and South Africa. However, the three countries – namely Egypt and Sudan – still doubted that these meetings would yield any positive results. The sources added that Egypt opposed the participation of African Union experts in any bilateral discussions due to their lack of trust on the one hand, and their lack of sufficient knowledge of the nature of the outstanding problems between Cairo and Addis Ababa, and the requirements of Khartoum, on the other hand. Accordingly, the discussions scheduled to take place will be limited to two issues only, the first is the nature of the six-party and tripartite meetings in which all parties can accept participation, and the second is the nature of the desired agreement from the political and legal perspectives only, provided that the technical aspects are left to the technical delegations and local experts selected from each country.

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The sources pointed out that the current African movement, which may not produce any effect, until the handover of South Africa to the presidency of the Union, comes as a reaction to the Egyptian and Sudanese tendency to internationalize the issue again, especially in light of the political escalation between them and Ethiopia, against the background of the border dispute between Addis Ababa. And Khartoum, which is taking a steadily escalating trend, reached yesterday, the head of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, to visit the state of Gadaref to inspect the forces on the borders, and Khartoum announced that it would respond to the Ethiopian attacks after the spread of news of the fall of a Sudanese plane in the region.

The sources played down the importance of the proposed movement in light of the existing political tension. It revealed, at the same time, that he had received instructions from the office of the Director of General Intelligence, Major General Abbas Kamel, who is responsible for coordinating the Egyptian movement in the crisis, to prepare the new technical data necessary to support any step taken by Cairo at the international level, including submitting a formal complaint to the Security Council. The sources stated that the technical situation of the Renaissance Dam and its problems differed somewhat from what they were last summer, when Egypt for the first time resorted to the Security Council. For the dam without notifying Egypt or Sudan. The tragic situation that most areas of Sudan witnessed during the last flood period, in conjunction with the filling of the dam, confirmed the grave danger that the dam could pose in the event of lack of coordination in periods of flood receding and moderate, severe and prolonged drought, given the weakness of the Sudanese dams, the limited infrastructure and the poor condition of their facilities. . The sources stressed that the agreement of principles almost nothing remains under implementation.

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And the Ethiopian Minister of Energy and Water, Seleshi Bekele, previously said that his country is implementing the fifth principle of the agreement “literally”, and that it informed the two downstream countries of all possibilities during the Washington negotiations last year, and that the drought in particular is estimated to have less than four percent in the first two years. According to the most pessimistic analyzes, it is committed to not harming both countries in that case. He pointed out that the only prior notification assigned to Ethiopia within the agreement is to notify the two downstream countries of any unforeseen or emergency circumstances that require resetting the operation of the dam. This principle includes another clause that Addis Ababa interprets in its favor only, which is “agreement on the guidelines and rules for the annual operation of the Renaissance Dam, which the owner of the dam may adjust from time to time.” Therefore, Ethiopia believes that Egypt has recognized, by signing this clause, its absolute sovereignty over the dam, and rejects the participation of Cairo and Khartoum in defining long-term operating rules, except within the limits of ensuring “no harm” as a principle stipulated in the agreement itself. Consequently, the Ethiopian reading of these rubber-based expressions and the faceted bodysuit, which Egypt and Sudan signed 5 years ago, allows Ethiopia to evade its natural duties in accordance with the rules for sharing rivers and the relevant international laws and agreements.

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