Egypt Registers Complaint with UN Against Ethiopia Dam

Second Egyptian complaint to UN this year on the GERD

6 Sep 2022 by The Water Diplomat

In a new development of ongoing tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance  Dam (GERD). Egyptian authorities insist on a diplomatic way out and have filed a complaint with the UN’s Security Council. The authorities in Cairo claim that Ethiopia refuses to share Dam plans, something which they view as essential in a project of great dimensions such as this one which will have an impact on on the Nile’s water flow.

More than 90% of Egypt’s water necessities are covered using water from the Nile but, so far, negotiation efforts have been fruitless. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi sees water security as a fundamental issue for Egypt and, as Ethiopia continues to fill the Dam’s reservoir, Egyptian authorities have decided to take matter to the UN’s Security Council.

In the letter, Egypt accuses Ethiopia of filling the dam’s reservoir without articulation with Egypt os Sudan, which would violate international law. It also urged the Council to intervene in order to bring Ethiopia to the negotiations table. The Egyptian Foreign Minister said in the letter: “Ethiopias decision to resume the filling of the GERD is only the latest act in a systematic pattern of unilateral actions that constitute serious violations of its obligations under customary and conventional international law.”

After what Egyptian authorities describe as 11 years of fruitless negotiation due to Ehtiopia’s “uncompromising and obdurate posture,” they call on the Security Council to fully implement its President’s statement of 15 September 2021 in which the UN body appealed for negotiations to resume under the auspices of the African Union.

In the letter now sent to the Security Council, Egyptian authorities say: “Ethiopias defiance of the collective will of the international community and its disregard for the rights and interests of its co-riparians have been abundantly clear.” It then concludes by declaring that “Resolving this matter is not only essential to protecting and preserving peace and security throughout the region but will also contribute to our collective efforts to achieve greater prosperity for our peoples.”. Ethiopian authorities have claimed that the dam will not have a negative impact on the water flow reaching Egypt and it might, on the contrary, diminish evaporation and increase the amount of water flowing downstream.

With nearly 85% of the Nile water originating in Ethiopia, the country is claiming its right to use the river waters to develop the country and to provide electricity of its population.