Challenging Egyptian and Sudanese authorities, Ethiopia has started the next phase of filling a controversial mega-dam on the Nile River.
The move raised tensions ahead of an upcoming UNSC meeting on the issue.
Egypt and Sudan slammed the unilateral measure as “a violation of international laws and norms that regulate projects built on the shared basins of international rivers.”
Egypt’s irrigation ministry expressed its “firm rejection of this unilateral measure” and Sudan’s foreign ministry yesterday followed suit, labelling the move a “risk and imminent threat”.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is the source of a long-running
diplomatic stand-off between Addis Ababa and the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan.
Both nations have been pushing Addis Ababa to ink a binding deal over the filling and operation of the dam, and have been urging the UNSC to take the matter up.
The UNSC meeting is scheduled to be held tomorrow at the request of Tunisia on behalf of Egypt and Sudan.
But France’s ambassador to the UN said last week that the council itself can do little apart from bringing all the sides together.
“We can open the door, invite the three countries at the table, bring them to express their concerns, encourage them to get back to the negotiations and find a solution,” he told reporters.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in one note to the UN that negotiations are at an impasse, and accused Ethiopia of adopting “a policy of intransigence that undermined our collective endeavours to reach an agreement.”