Egypt and Sudan have stymied the momentum of the GERD talks.
In the most recent round of talks in Kinshasa, Egypt and Sudan made unconstructive efforts to stymie the African Union-led negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to the Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy.
Seleshi Bekele (PhD), the minister, claimed in a press conference yesterday that the Kinshasa deliberations were called off with no progress made due to Egypt and Sudan’s dismissive attitude toward AU-led negotiations.
The two countries have both attempted to sabotage the African Union’s efforts to fulfil its mandate of finding African solutions to Africa’s problems.
Egypt and Sudan, according to the minister, used a concerted tactic to stymie the negotiations, although their proposal to exclude South Africa from its observer status is incompatible with the AU’s status as a continental entity. Both Egypt and Sudan were mostly concerned in Kinshasa with changing the negotiating process, and they were more interested in how to execute the talks than in engaging in substantive discussions.
“Ethiopia made it clear to negotiating partners that the second-year filling of the GERD reservoir would take place as planned, and that the country could not enter into an arrangement that would foreclose its present and potential legal rights over the use of the GERD reservoir,” the statement said.
Ethiopia would not accept proposals that seek to guarantee the exclusive rights of a single entity over natural resources, the water minister said, despite Ethiopia’s willingness to allow data and knowledge sharing on the dam’s filling.
Seleshi emphasized that the Ethiopian delegation briefed the Kinshasa meeting participants thoroughly on Sudan’s false accusation about GERD’s safety concerns and negative effects on the former’s dams and water stations.
Sudan’s plan to stymie momentum in the AU-led GERD talks, which is supported by Egypt, sought to replace current observers and change the direction of the discussions, which was rejected by Ethiopia.
South Africa, the United States, and the European Union all agreed to keep their observer status as their constructive contributions to the GERD talks were boosted. The tripartite negotiations are expected to be completed in eight weeks, and the next meeting will be led by the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the minister.