Egypt defends its case at the UN, while Ethiopia defends itself against Tigray
The Egyptian president delivered a very pronounced speech at the UN General Assembly this week Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called on Ethiopia for its “clear intransigence and unjustified rejection” of international diplomacy over the dispute over the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and warned that this posed a “serious threat to security and stability of the whole region “.
Egypt relies on the Nile for more than 90% of its water supply and has sought an internationally mediated agreement with Ethiopia to ensure that Egypt’s water supply is not reduced by the GERD. prime minister Abiy Ahmed So far, Ethiopia has resisted international mediation on the GERD, claiming that the dam is a sovereign matter and that Egypt’s concerns are exaggerated. Sudan supports Egypt’s position on the Nile.
The world recognizes the risks of collision. On 15 September, the UN Security Council issued a statement calling on all three parties to resume negotiations mediated by the African Union (AU).
As we wrote here in July, when Egypt made its second presentation to the Council in two years on the GERD, a Security Council resolution, which carries more weight than a “statement,” is a tough sell-off. The mandate of the Security Council is limited to issues affecting “international security”. It is clear that this dispute is getting closer to achieving this rule, but members are still uncomfortable with the precedent of using the forum to address “water-related issues” as it could open the Council to many other cases.
The Council statement is therefore a mixed outcome for Egypt, which would prefer a more committed role for the United Nations, the EU and external powers in the negotiations to support the AU, such as Daddy sure reports. Ethiopia considers the GERD beyond the jurisdiction of the UN Security Council, and prefers that the talks remain only under the auspices of the AU Mohammed Saied explains here.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blink he said after meeting with the Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry on 22 September, that both countries share a “mutual desire for results-oriented negotiations” on the GERD under the auspices of the AU, which is currently chaired by the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Muhammed Magdy reports here on Congo’s efforts to restart stalled talks.
Egyptian diplomacy in the GERD also benefits from a decline in U.S.-Ethiopian ties over the Tigray civil war, which the State Department has described as “one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.” more than 900,000 living in famine. On September 17, the Biden administration enacted a new regime of sanctions in response to the crisis, a warning to the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea, which have been implicated in atrocities and human rights violations in the conflict.
Egypt uses old-school radio diplomacy as part of its information diplomacy strategy to convey its position on the Nile to African countries, such as George Mikhail reports.
Sudanese government, meanwhile, thwarted a coup attempt by officials linked to the ousted dictator’s previous regime. Omar al-Bashir, as reported here.
Egypt links Nile diplomacy to climate
Egypt not only frames the Nile dispute in terms of security. It also merges its concerns about the Nile with a broader effort to emphasize transboundary water conflicts at the UN Conference on Climate Change, with an emphasis on water scarcity, drought, and desertification. land and food security, Mohamed Saied reports.
In anticipation of the potential impact of a reduction in water supply, Egypt is undertaking several projects to maximize water efficiency, such as Rasha Mahmoud reports and review of several of its key hydropower plants, Mohamed Sabry reports.
For the US, human rights are still important
Sisi is also trying to consolidate key partnerships. It announced on September 11 a so-called National Strategy for Human Rights to mixed reviews, with advocates saying the initiative is a big step forward, and critics called it an effort to divert international scrutiny. , how Mohamed Ashraf Abu Emaira reports.
The United States took note, however. The State Department reading after Blinken’s meeting with Shoukry noted that “enhanced collaboration will be facilitated through measures by the Government of Egypt to improve its protection of human rights, including the implementation” of the new strategy . Blinken and Shoukry agreed to hold a “bilateral strategic dialogue to discuss regional issues, human rights, security cooperation and economic relations.”
More about Egypt: Sex Ed, Sharks and Atheists
Check out Egypt about these other articles from our Egyptian correspondents:
- Hagar Hosny has the latest in another water-related crisis: investigations into a series of shark attacks on Egypt’s north coast. Egyptian officials are studying reports of recent attacks, which until now were rare.
- Ibrahim Ayyad writes about the online platform “Mother Being”, which has sparked controversy not only for debating sexual health, which remains baffled or controversial in many Arab countries, but offering a course “dealing with pleasure-centered sexual awareness”.
- Shahira Amin | reports here on how Sisi’s comments on respect for “non-believers” have sparked debate, as there is “little tolerance for atheists in conservative, predominantly Muslim society … while Egypt has no laws criminalizing atheism, non-believers who come out as such are often sentenced to three years in prison on charges of “contempt for religion.”