Egypt Watch

UNSC urges Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia to reach ‘binding deal’ over Renaissance Dam

On Wednesday, the UN Security Council urged Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to resume talks to reach “a binding deal within a reasonable timeframe” over the operation of the Renaissance Dam.

The 15-member Security Council called, in a formal presidential statement passed by consensus, “upon the three countries to take forward the AU-led negotiation process in a constructive and cooperative manner.”

The statement came in response to an Egyptian-Sudanese joint call on the council to demand Ethiopia negotiate to find “a binding deal,” which Ethiopia refused to agree to over and over again. “The Security Council encourages Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to resume negotiations at the invitation of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) to finalise expeditiously the text of mutually acceptable and binding agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD, within a reasonable time frame,” the statement said.

In response, Egypt and Sudan welcomed the UNSC’s statement: “The statement obliges Ethiopia to engage seriously and with a sincere political will with the aim of reaching a legally-binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam in the way mentioned in the Security Council’s presidential statement,” read the Egyptian foreign ministry’s statement.

On the other hand, Ethiopia refused to accept the statement, and the Ethiopian foreign ministry described Tunisia’s draft resolution at the UNSC as a “historic misstep” that “undermines [Tunisia’s] solemn responsibility” as a rotating UNSC member for Africa. Taye Atske, Ethiopia’s permanent representative to the UN, tweeted that the UNSC’s presidential statement affirms that the council views the GERD file as a “water rights and water development issue.”