Why Sudan declined Egypt’s draft resolution in Arab League

Sudan declined a draft resolution on Ethiopian Dam that Egypt prepared and tabled at the Arab League. The rest of members states including Djibouti, Somalia and United Arab Emirates did not decline it apparently

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borkena
March 5, 2020

A report published by Ahram online of March 5, 2020, says that Sudan declines to endorse Arab League resolution in support of Egypt in the Nile Dam.

It is Egypt, the seat of the organization, that prepared the draft resolution to underscore “Arab support for the water rights of Egypt and Sudan,” and Sudan was informed about it, according to a report by Ahram Online.

Except for Sudan, all Arab League Member countries supported the draft resolution. Sudan asked its name not to be included in the resolution.

Sudan sees the resolution as one that could lead to confrontation between Ethiopia and the Arab States,based on the Ahram report.  Djibouti and Somalia are also members of the organization but they did not oppose the draft proposal apparently. 

Ethiopia and Sudan have cooperation in a range of areas, including in joint-border security, signed during the Albashir era. The relation between the two countries in the post-Albashir era is based on mutual-agreement. If fact, Ethiopia has played a constructive role during the political transition in the country.

Ethiopia expressed its commitment to generate over 5000 megawatts of electric power from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam(GERD) without causing harm to Egypt and Sudan. Over 86 percent of the Nile Water originates from Ethiopia, and Ethiopia seeks fair use of the water, unlike Egypt, that is requesting a “historical right over the Nile.”

However, Ethiopia made it clear this week that it would not allow Egypt to control the Nile Water while pointing out Sudan’s position  – equitable use of the water and Ethiopia entirely agrees with that position.

The three countries signed a declaration of principle regarding GERD in 2015 and continued negotiation on their own to reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the Nile Water.

Since they were unable to reach an agreement on their own, they invoked an article of the Declaration of Principle that allows the three countries to seek international mediation. Egypt wanted the US as a mediator.  

Accordingly, the three countries have been negotiating since November 2019. The US Department of Treasury and The World Bank became part of the negotiation as “observers.”

However, still, an agreement was not possible.

The US Department of Treasury issued a statement on February 28, ordering Ethiopia not to start filling the Dam before reaching an agreement with Egypt and Sudan.

In a statement issued on February 29, 2020, Ethiopia expressed its disappointment with the statement from the Department of Treasury and disclosed that it would not accept it.

Gedu Andargachew (Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs) and Seleshi Bekele ( Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy) had a press conference this week. They reiterated Ethiopia’s commitment to the equitable and fair use of the Nile Water. They also pointed out that Ethiopia does not want to be rushed to sign an agreement regarding the filling and operation of the Dam, which is currently 71 percent completed.

While noting escalation of rhetoric and threat on the part of Egypt, Ethiopia says Egypt will not benefit from it.



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