UN urges Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to resume Nile dam talks


United Nations Security Council issued a statement on Wednesday asking Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to “continue negotiations” under the auspices of the African Union in order to reach a quick agreement on the controversial Nile mega-dam.

In a declaration issued by Tunisia, the Security Council stated the contract should be a “mutually acceptable and enforceable agreement on the filling and functioning” of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, or GERD, “within a reasonable time frame.”

Members of the UN’s top security council also encouraged all observers who would be acceptable to the three parties involved in the squabbled project “to continue supporting the negotiations with a view to aiding resolution of the outstanding issues.”

“The Security Council calls upon the three countries to take forward the AU-led negotiation process in a constructive and cooperative manner,” the statement said.

The dam was the subject of a Security Council meeting in early July, even though its members have differing opinions on the need for the body dedicated to world peace to take on a subject related to water supply.

Ethiopia had criticised any involvement of the Security Council, contending that the African Union was better positioned to help resolve the conflict. 

The GERD, set to be Africa’s largest hydroelectric project when completed, has sparked an almost decade-long diplomatic stand-off between Addis Ababa and downstream nations Egypt and Sudan.

In July Ethiopia announced that the GERD was ready to produce electricity after completing the second phase of filling.

Ethiopia says the project is essential to its development, but Cairo and Khartoum fear it could restrict their citizens’ water access.  

Culled from: eastafrican.co.ke


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