Panafrican News Agency

Ethiopia rallies UN Security Council to reject bid to halt GERD project

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, also Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Thursday met with Ambassadors of Member States of the United Nations Security Council to lobby against a new attempt to introduce a Council Resolution on its disputed dam.

Mr. Demeke called on the ambassadors to reject the draft resolution submitted by Tunisia on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to a spokesperson for the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry.

Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy Sileshi Bekele, briefed the ambassadors on the status of the construction of the GERD and the content of the draft resolution submitted to the Security Council by Tunisia.

He said the GERD is a development project and should not be considered by the Security Council.

Recalling that the case was referred to the Security Council in July 2021, he said a direction was set for the three countries to continue the tripartite talks held by the African Union and reach a solution.

He said that it is inappropriate for Tunisia to refer back the resolution to the Council since it violates Ethiopia's right to use its natural resources and maliciously tries to advance the unjust interests of the downstream countries.

The minister called on Sudan and Egypt to abandon the status quo and the so-called “historical right” over the Nile River basin and refrain from unnecessarily politicising and internationalising the matter. He urged the international community to influence the downstream states to continue participating in the AU-led negotiation and sign and ratify the Comprehensive Framework Agreement.

He added that the Democratic Republic of Congo is preparing to incorporate the ideas of the three countries and reach an agreement that will benefit all parties.

Mr. Demeke said Ethiopia is committed to reaching an agreement in the trilateral talks to be held under the auspices of the AU and called on the Member States to reject the draft resolution submitted to the Council by Tunisia.

-0- PANA AO/AR 26Aug2021