Addis Abeba, March 09/2021 – In his latest biweekly media briefing to local media, Ambassador Dina Mufti clarified Ethiopia’s long standing position on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) vis a vis Egypt’s and Sudan’s position to get third parties involved in mediation process.
“The GERD issue can be solved under the auspices of the ongoing African Union-led negotiation which does not necessitate the involvement of a different party over the issue as a mediator,” Ambassador Dina said, adding “Ethiopia strongly believes that African problems can be solved through African Solutions and the African Union and the DRC are perfectly capable of coming up with win-win solutions to all.”
On March 05 the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the United Nations “is available to support and participate in the African Union-led negotiation process on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam,” according to a telephone readout the secretary General has with Sameh Hassan Shoukry Selim, Foreign Minister of Egypt. The Secretary-General “confirmed that the United Nations is available to support and participate in the African Union-led negotiation process” on the GERD, and that it was “at the invitation of the Chairperson of the African Union, President Felix Tshisekedi…hoping the process will count on the full engagement of the parties in a serious negotiation.”
The Nile basin is a shared water resource where all downstream and upstream countries will benefit from negotiationsAmbassador Dina Mufti
It is to be recalled that last week Ambassador Dina reiterated that attempts to bring in other parties to mediate while the AU-led negotiations are still ongoing is “demeaning the efforts of the AU.”
The following is the latest development on GERD. Remarks attributable to Ambassador Dina Mufti:
– Members of the Presidential Panel formed by the President of the DRC on the tripartite negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam had visited Ethiopia from March 03 to 07, 2021. During the meeting, the delegation held talks with the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, and representatives of negotiating countries.
– Before the Congolese group visited Ethiopia, it made similar visits to South Africa, Egypt, and Sudan, where they have gathered information on the views of the countries on the tripartite talks. Egypt and Sudan said they recognize Ethiopia’s right to development, but they have their own concerns.
In this regard:
– Sudan is concerned about dam safety, information exchange, and Ethiopia’s unilateral action.
– Egypt wants the negotiations to focus on legal issues and reach a binding agreement under international law.
– Egypt and Sudan have stated that they will never accept the completion of the second year of the dam without an agreement.
– The AU, UN, USA, and EU should play as mediators
*The Ethiopian sides made it clear that:
– The Nile basin is a shared water resource where all downstream and upstream countries will benefit from negotiations
– Ethiopia has the natural and legal right to utilize its water resources fairly and equitably without causing significant harm to downstream countries
– The questions of dam safety and information exchange that are raised by the Sudanese side have been adequately addressed and they could not be reasons for complaint at all
– The tendency to stick to the status quo of the colonial era agreements under the name of reaching binding agreements is not acceptable
– The GERD issue can be solved under the auspices of the ongoing African Union-led negotiation which does not necessitate the involvement of a different party over the issue as a mediator.
– Ethiopia strongly believes that African problems can be solved through African Solutions and the African Union and the DRC are perfectly capable of coming up with win-win solutions to all.
– The Ethiopian Diplomatic Group on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has held its regular discussion last week in person and online. The group exchanged information on current issues related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.