Tuesday, July 6, 2021

#GERD : Ethiopia starts the second filing its grand dam , Egypt and Sudan already at the Security Council

From a couple of hours, the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation announced that it received that an official letter from Ethiopia informing it that the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has started already.

From its side, Egypt officially rejected categorically the unliteral action of Addis Ababa without reaching a legally binding agreement on the operations and filing policies of GERD.

In a reply letter, Egyptian Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Ati expressed Egypt’s official rejection of the action.

Ethiopia's GERD by AFP
Ethiopia's GERD by AFP 

Abdel Ati stated in the letter that the filing decision unliterally was considered a dangerous violation of the Declaration of Principles “DoPs” signed in Khartoum in 2015 between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

The DoPs is an agreement signed between the three countries in March of 2015 that obliges Ethiopia to cooperate with Egypt and Sudan in filling and operating the dam.

It is also considered a violation of the transboundary water treaties and laws as well as agreements, the Egyptian minister said in his letter adding that Ethiopia should be committed to respect Egypt’s water interests and rights.

That Egyptian letter was sent to the current President of the UN Security Council too.

Already both Egyptian and Sudanese Foreign Ministers are in New York gearing up for the upcoming UN Security Council meeting on Thursday on GERD as an attempt to find a solution for this dispute aka making Ethiopia signs a legally binding agreement on the filing policies and operations of the dam to protect both countries’ water rights.

Ethiopian officials above them Ethiopian Prime Abiy Ahmed had repeatedly said the second filing of the dam would be in July during the rainy season but they did not determine an exact.

On the other side, Egyptian and Sudanese officials above them Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Sudanese PM Abdullah Hamdok warned Ethiopians repeatedly of taking any unliteral actions aka the second filing of the dam in the past months. 

Realistically speaking, we won’t feel the impact of the second filing as hard as our neighbours in Sudan.

It would take several weeks till it reaches Egypt and its impact is felt.

Also, lucky for us we still got the Aswan Dam and the Nasser Lake “but not for long and that’s what concerns Cairo and that’s another post”.

Unlike Sudan, which will be hit hard in this second filing, just like last year.

The second filling will 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.

Sudanese officials have repeatedly stated the GERD would put the operation of its Roseires Dam and the lives of 20 million Sudanese people at “a very high risk if an agreement regulating its operation and filling policies was not reached before the second filling.

Part of the disputed issues is the future projects on the Nile, especially in Ethiopia.

Sudan was on board with Ethiopia in the beginning but last year things began to change following the first filing of the dam in July 2020 without prior notification to both downstream countries in unliteral action.

According to Sudanese officials above them irrigation Minister Professor Yasser Abbas things began to change since then as Ethiopia started to speak about Egypt and Sudan’s Nile Water shares and not about the filing or operation policies. This is Egypt’s worst fear, touching its historical Nile water share. Already our main concern is that this dam may reduce our Nile water share.

Abbas revealed that there was certain important information Ethiopia should have shared with the two countries in the talks according to the DoPs but it withheld it.

Sudan has asked Ethiopia to accept an international quartet committee made of the US, UN, African Union “AU” and European Union. Egypt supported the Sudanese demand though.

Ethiopia claims that such a suggestion undermines the African Union which sponsored rounds of useless talks between the three countries that ended with a deadlock with more disagreements than agreements in a nutshell.

I am sorry but now I fear that the fact that the headquarter of AU is in Addis Abba makes the whole organization bias. I mean has anyone hear any voice from the AU concerning the Tigray war and the war crimes committed there !?

I know that I sounded so biased, I am sorry but this is too much.

Between GERD and The Tigray war

Politically speaking, Abiy Ahmed and his government were expected at least from my point of view to go on with the filling of the GERD now before tomorrow regardless of the declared schedule of the filing in the second year.

Ahmed Abiy and his government are facing military losses in the Tigray war and the photos of the Ethiopian captured POWs in Tigray’s Mekelle “The capital of the disputed region” were like a slap on the Ethiopian regime’s face.

Any regime especially a populist dictatorship that commits war crimes against an ethnicity of its own citizens will need some sort of quick political or military victory to continue having this strong image among its own supporters and the rest of Ethiopia. “ I do not want to speak about the awful war crimes committed in Tigray or how the world is silent on these atrocities”

Starting the second filing of GERD in time of defeat when Sudan and Egypt “the nemesis you presented to your people through the media you control” go the UN Security Council will give Ahmed and his regime that fake defiance.

I do not have to guess but now Pro-regime newspapers and media in Addis Ababa are speaking about how Abiy Ahmed stood against Egypt’s imperialism “Yes, I read this term in Ethiopian media”  and Sudan in the Security Council.

We, as Arab Africans who live in the Middle East, know this drill, this game first hand.

That’s why dealing with the Ethiopian government needs help and pressure from abroad, unfortunately, I say it explicitly.

Now the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Sudanese counterpart Minister Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi are in New York preparing for the waiting Security Council’s meeting on GERD session next Thursday. “We are all waiting for it like a football game”

Realistically speaking, I am not waiting much from this session but Sudanese officials hope that the Security Council may press Ethiopia into accepting the international quartet committee to push forward the talks.

Personally, I believe we need a miracle so we can reach a win-win situation from the GERD dam without giving up fundamental rights.


  1. But,still we are filling the dam and you keep talking. Shame! Unfortunately, Egypt have been blind. Why don't you become a family with Ethiopia? Is there any other country than Ethiopia your everything depends on? If I were you I will tell for my people that Ethiopia is the 2nd home for all Egyptians. But, you are cursed blinded. Since, Genesis!

  2. Egypt and Ethiopia known for there rich History. But, still look for advise from 200yrs old countries. This is a disgrace! How you failed to understand EU is powerful b/c it is United. But, you still can't see your life is chained with Ethiopia forever. Therefore, do you try to fight or cooperate with those you never detached? May your blind eye be opened!


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