Sudan is urging the United Nations Security Council to meet over Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with the aim to put pressure on Ethiopia to halt the second filling before a “binding agreement” with lower riparian countries.
Mariam al-Mahdi, Sudanese Foreign Minister , called on the Security council to meet at the earliest possible time to discuss safety and security of people in the lower riparian countries, said a report by the state media, SUNA.
The minister is seeking a specific action from the Security Council : to “call on Ethiopia to stop unilateral filling of the Renaissance Dam, which will exacerbate the dispute and poses a threat to regional and international peace and security,” as quoted in the Sudan Tribune.
Ethiopia has been arguing that GERD is a development project and should not be discussed at the level of the Security Council. What Ethiopia has been pushing for is “an African solution to an African problem.” It means African Union led negotiations over the filling and operation of GERD .
Russia and China, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, support the Ethiopian position that the issue should be discussed at the continental level through the continental organization – African Union, in which the three countries have representation.
Egypt and Sudan on the other hand argue that the AU level of discussion is not showing progress and call for inclusion of the United States and European Union as mediators.
Also, Ethiopia has been arguing that the Declaration of Principle signed between the three countries (Sudan,Egypt and Ethiopia) in 2015 does not prohibit Ethiopia from undertaking the second filling of the dam which aims to retain 13.9 billion cubic meters of water.
It is scheduled to take place starting next month.