Will the Arab league coalition alliance persuade Addis Ababa to stop filling the dam due for this July? What action are the 50 alliance members likely to take towards Ethiopia should they reject the claim?
Arab league, the 52 Arab state alliance foreign ministers called on Ethiopia to refrain from filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) next month without Egypt and Sudan’s prior agreement.
This united front statement comes as Cairo increase pressure to block the filling of the dam beginning July. The UN Security Council also met to discuss the issue June 29, however, they failed to reach a compromise with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry warning that the dam threatened the lives of 150 million Egyptians and Sudanese.
Arab foreign ministers' statement came after the conclusion of the Arab League emergency meeting held June 23. The meeting called for “the need for all parties to refrain from taking any unilateral measures, and the need for Ethiopia to refrain from filling the GERD reservoir without reaching an agreement with the downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan) on the dam filling and operation rules.”
The fundamental question is will the Ethiopian Government listen? And will the Arab league trigger any sanction towards Ethiopia if Abbey Government goes ahead with planned dam refill.
“the water security of Egypt and Sudan is an integral part of the Arab national security” and stressed the rejection of any action or measure that affects the rights of Nile countries. Reads part of Arab league unison statement.
Egypt announced June 19 the faltering of tripartite negation with Egypt and Sudan over the contentious points related to the $4 billion GERD, which is built between Ethiopia's border with Sudan and awaiting reservoir to be filled with water.
(C) International Crisis Group Video
GERD dam dispute drawn attention of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and Republic of South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa who intervened and held an emergency AU Summit June 26, with the participation of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.
The three parties agreed during the summit to form a committee made up of experts from the three countries and from the member states of the Bureau of the AU Assembly, as well as representatives of international observers. They also agreed to resume negotiations on the GERD within two weeks, according to African Union statement released June 28.
For his part, Hossam Zaki, assistant secretary-general of the League of Arab States,told local Egyptian TV that Egypt has received good Arab support in the Renaissance Dam crisis, as Arab foreign ministers said in their last meeting that they are all for supporting Egypt’s water rights.
With Egyptian intense diplomatic lobby Ethiopia must prepare his goose before its too late. Of importance the two Countries must compromise to reach a deal. Its worth pointing out Nile dam is Ethiopian natural resource and has equal right to invest in it same as it is Egyptian lifeline for survival therefore reaching a compromise for greater good is the only option.