Monday, July 19, 2021

#GERD and beyond : After the second filing , what is the next move for Egypt and Sudan ? "Updated"

Ethiopia’s Irrigation Ministry announced on Monday that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam “GERD” finished successfully its second filing despite the objections of both Egypt and Sudan.

From three weeks ago, Ethiopia notified both Egypt and Sudan that it started the second filing already as the two Nile Downstream countries were heading into the United Nations Security Council on GERD talks for the second time.

Ethiopian irrigation minister Seleshi Bekele announced on Monday that the GERD reservoir reached an overtopping water level.

A photo of GERD released by Ethiopian Broadcasting Cooperation "EBC" on Monday
A photo of GERD released by Ethiopian Broadcasting Cooperation "EBC"
on Monday

“Currently, the incoming flow passes through both bottom outlets and overtopping” Bekele added in his statement on social media.

He added that the Blue Nile experienced extreme rainfall, the GERD reservoir was filled rapidly.

He did not mention numbers related to the quantity of water they got now.

According to previous statements of Ethiopian irrigation officials in the past month, the second filling should collect around 18.4 billion cubic metres of Blue Nile water, up from the 4.9 billion cubic metres withheld during the first filling last year.

In the past 24 hours, unconfirmed reports spread in Cairo and Khartoum that the second filing has failed to reach its goals.

Following the Ethiopian announcement by several hours, Sudan issued a statement slamming once again Ethiopia reasserting its position rejecting unilateral actions and insisting at the same time on reaching a legally binding agreement on the filing and the operation policies of GERD to ensure its safety on Roseires Dam. 

On Sunday, the Sudanese Irrigation Ministry announced that there is an upcoming increase in the flow of water coming from the Blue Nile due to heavy rain in Ethiopian highlands and that there will be a gradual increase in the flow at the Roseires Dam, its main dam till Khartoum.

The Ministry called the citizens living on the banks of the Blue Nile to take their precautions. In other words, they have to take care that a possible flood may be on its way.

Sudan has expressed its fear over and over that the GERD will put the operation of its Roseires dam and the lives of its citizens – approximately 20 million people – at “a very high risk” if an agreement regulating its operation and filling was not reached before the second filling causing both drought and floods on the banks of the Blue Nile.

It accused Ethiopia of withholding data regarding GERD and send some of it only after the second filing has already started.

This second filing won’t harm Egypt despite we have still got weeks to be certain but according to the Egyptian irrigation experts Aswan High Dam and Lake Nasser provide us with a safety net for the current time being.

Both Egypt and Sudan demand a legal binding agreement on the operations and filing policies of the dam.

Those policies include an agreement on what should happen in the case of a prolonged drought. This issue is critical to Egypt.

Now recently Sudan admitted that in the last round of talks, both countries were surprised to find Ethiopia speaks about the Nile River shares of both countries; which is not included officially in the talks or in the Declaration of Principles signed 2015.

This is a true red line for Egypt.

Now I fear that Ethiopia returns to the game of “Let’s have bottomless talks under the auspices of the African Union” as they prepare for the third filing of GERD without signing any legally binding agreement. All the official statements and indications say that Cairo and Khartoum will follow the peaceful means to solve this dispute amicably as much as they can.

Egypt and Sudan went to UNSC and returned technically with more words of any use than actions.

There was a shock among many Egyptians that Russia leaned to Ethiopia more but I am not surprised or shocked.

The United States stated officially that it won’t accept the military option as an option in the dispute turning the African Horn into hell.

Personally, I am praying that we are not dragged into any military fight into the African Horn because let’s just say they have there every couple of decades ugly wars and civil wars to the level that they are not intimated. One look at the current war in the Tigray war and you will know what we are dealing with.

I believe we should continue our diplomatic level and start using other means including using the boycott weapon. We can learn a thing or two from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel and we can use it with the countries and companies support Ethiopia in constructing the dam as well as on its insistence to ignore Egypt and Ethiopia’s demands.

Sudan already threatened to legally go after the companies participating in the construction of GERD above them Italy’s Construction giant Salini Impregilo

We build upon the position of the European Union too as well. The EU calls for a clear GERD roadmap to reach a legal binding agreement within a timeframe. If you remember this is what Tunisia called for in its draft resolution presented to the UNSC too.

Both Egypt and Sudan support the roadmap.

Anyhow it is not over, this is like a season finale. The next season's premier in the GERD show when the Ethiopian Government says “Let’s talk again”. 


  1. Are you guys serious? You seem level headed person. But you know that Ethiopia contributes 86% to Nile and you expect us to have 0% share of the water. The principle says " equitable water sharing principle". How in the world you asking Ethiopia to have a 0% share equitable. If you are a level headed person and demand that, I don't know what the hot-heads in Egypt want. To wipe Ethiopia out of this planet? You guys need to change at a society level.

    1. Who told you that we in Egypt or in Sudan want you in Ethiopia to have a 0% share !? What kind of hot-heads in Ethiopia told you so !? Who told you that we want to wipe Ethiopia out of this planet. It is untrue !??
      Do you know that we offered help in the construction in that dam on the condition of cooperation !?
      Do you know that the original water shares were not included in the declaration of principles that signed between the three countries in 2015 !?
      We want you to have your share and to operate as well as to generate electricity but at the same time our water share won't be affected , we can reach this easily if the Ethiopian officials want officially to reach a true win-win situation

  2. The 1959 agreement signed between Egypt and Sudan that gave all the waters of blue Nile exclusively to Egypt and sudan told him that Ethiopia's share is 0%. Ethiopia officially requested Egypt to participate in the construction of GERD,Egypt refused, why because they don't want Ethiopia to construct any dam or water related project on the blue Nile which constitutes 70% of Ethiopia's water source.A binding agreement on Gerd means accepting the 1959 unjust water distribution among Egypt and sudan therefore Ethiopia will not sign it.

    1. How can we control the share of Ethiopia to the level it would have 0% when it is an upstream country !? Please logically think about it. You are the upstream country and we are the downstream country , how can we prevent water from you in the first place !?
      FYI the binding agreement is for the filing and operation policies of the dam , it has nothing to do with the shares because the shares are not on the table in the first place


Thank You for your comment
Please keep it civilized here, racist and hateful comments are not accepted
The Comments in this blog with exclusion of the blog's owner does not represent the views of the blog's owner.