The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) convene an urgent meeting to discuss the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The diplomats from three countries are expressing concern about the stalled negotiations currently sponsored by the African Union (AU).
For the first time that Arabs took a stand to pressure Ethiopia on the GERD issue, Egypt and Sudan asked the member states to include the GERD issue on the UNSC agenda.
Prior to the Arab foreign ministers’ meeting, Cairo and Khartoum had addressed letters to the Security Council to explain the developments in the GERD file, and to object to Ethiopia’s intentions to move forward with the second filling of the dam’s reservoir without reaching an agreement on the GERD’s filling and operation with the two downstream countries.
The meeting held in the Qatari capital, Doha, in the presence of 17 Arab foreign ministers, discussed the GERD issue after negotiations with Ethiopia reached a dead end in the last round of talks held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on April 4-5.
Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit announced during a press conference after the meeting, “Arab countries strongly support the downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan].”
Meanwhile, the biggest concern is the issue turning into an ongoing tension such as the border dispute between Sudan and Ethiopia, which might lead to increased efforts by all parties to destabilize each other through proxy conflicts, in the absence of other options to influence Ethiopia.