Wed, 07 Jul 2021 - 05:42 GMT
Wed, 07 Jul 2021 - 05:42 GMT
CAIRO – 7 July 2021: In less than a day, a Security Council session will adjudicate on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as a mechanism to preserve international peace and security.
The Security Council referred the issue to the African Union, but when it fails to resolve it, the affected country can rightfully resort to the Council once again.
That the Security Council holds two sessions on GERD means it recognizes the issue as a threat to international peace and stability in a sensitive region that is close to straits, international navigation routes, and transport lines of oil and gas from the Gulf area.
Former assistant to the foreign minister, Mohamed Hegazy, told Egypt Today that GERD is now a case of transgression against international law and the Declaration of Principles of 2015. He said that East Africa does not belong to one or two countries, calling on the international community to take the appropriate measures before the situation erupts due to Ethiopia’s intransigence and unilateral actions.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s commitment to international law allows it to defend its interests and national security as it sees fitting, he added.
“Commitment to international law indicates a country’s status and its respect for international rules, but if the other party oversteps the bounds, article 51 of the United Nations Charter allows states to defend their national security interests in the manner they deem appropriate. The international community will witness [the issue] and after the Security Council session on Thursday, we will have a different discussion,” Hegazy explained.
The GERD issue is not relevant to Egypt and Sudan only, but many other countries; if this region descends into trouble, many countries will be affected in light of the Ethiopian intransigence that has lasted 10 years of negotiations and culminated in an explicit threat to the peace and stability of the vital Arab region in the east of the continent, Hegazy concluded.
For his part, former Minister of Water Resources Mohamed Nasr el-Deen Allam told Egypt Today that that Egypt followed all routers of diplomacy to resolve the GERD issue and put an end the Ethiopian intransigence in 10 years, despite Ethiopia continuing to build and fill the dam.
“Egypt has exercised self-control and has shown goodwill,” the former minister said.
Egypt and Sudan have acknowledged the dam in the Declaration of Principles provided there would be an agreement on the filling, operation, and safety of the dam, as well as compensation, he said, accusing Ethiopia of evading all rules of international law.
On the potential dangers of the dam, Allam said “The huge storage capacity of the dam is on a main tributary although the Nile River is the sole source of water for Egypt and Sudan, and the dam may therefore cause deficits in drinking water and in agriculture and industry. This means an impact on Egypt in terms of political and economic stability as Egypt already is 50 percent below the water poverty rate at 550 cubic meters of water per capital a year.”
Meanwhile, head of the Ahram Center for Political Studies, Dr. Mohamed Farahat, said the Egyptian diplomacy successfully internationalized the GERD issue, accusing Ethiopia of violating international law and agreements.
Farahat added that Ethiopia’s unilateral actions destabilizes the international law on matters as such, emphasizing that the Nile River is not an Ethiopian internal affair, but rather it is an international river and there are “historically acquired rights” based on international law and agreements that should have governed the Ethiopian decision makers, and not internal calculations.