Egypt to protect citizen’s livelihoods if threatened by Ethiopia’s GERD
Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said on Thursday that his country is facing an existential intimidation from Ethiopia’s GERD (Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on River Nile. Shoukry added that Egypt will continue to be committed to United Nations principles and would also exhibit flexibility around the negotiations in matter. But he iterated that if livelihoods and interests of citizens of Egypt are threatened, Cairo will leave no stone unturned to defend them.
The massive hydroelectric dam being built across the Nile by Ethiopia was described by Shoukry during a Security Council meeting as “a colossal wall of iron and steel (that) has arisen along the banks of a great and ancient river and has cast a long and dark shadow over the future and fate of the people of Egypt.”
Egypt and Sudan, the nations at Nile’s downstream have brought the decades old dispute to council. The move came days following Addis Ababa began second stage of filling the dam’s reservoir. Shoukry said, “We have come to this chamber out of an abiding faith in the value of international law and an unwavering belief in the virtue of multilateralism as a vehicle for promoting peace and preventing conflict and strife.”
Ethiopia is however against any involvement of the UN and instead has put condition of resuming talks only under African Union (AU). US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that way forward for resolving the dispute has to begin with immediate resumption of negotiations that “should be held under the leadership of the African Union, the most appropriate venue to address this dispute.”
Shoukry has relayed that a year of talks led by AU have failed and called Ethiopia’s latest filling of act of filling reservoir a “blatant act of unilateralism (that) is not only a manifestation of Ethiopia’s irresponsibility and its callous indifference to the damage that this dam could inflict upon Egypt and Sudan, but it also illustrates Ethiopia’s bad faith and its attempt to impose a fait accompli in defiance of the collective will of the international community.”