Ethiopia slams Arab League 'meddling' on Nile mega dam

Wednesday July 07 2021
Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks at the House of Peoples Representatives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on November 30, 2020. PHOTO | AFP


Ethiopia has once again accused the Arab League of meddling with the country's massive dam project, known as the Ethiopia Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD), in a protest letter filed to the United Nations.

Earlier, the Arab League submitted a letter to the Security Council and the UN General Assembly asking the international body to intervene in the long-running dispute between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

Angered by the League’s move, Addis Ababa immediately submitted a protest letter to the Security Council through the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnnen.

"Ethiopia rejects the unwelcome meddling by the League of Arab States on the matter of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)," the letter said.

The Ethiopian foreign minister stated in his letter that his country was disappointed by the Arab League for addressing the UN on a "matter that does not fall within its purview."

This is not the first time that the Arab League has backed Egypt's position on the Nile dam.


The Ethiopian Minister also noted that the Arab League's approach would jeopardise the friendship and cooperation between the African Union and the League.

Previously, Ethiopia said that the Arab League's 'collective and blindfolded' taking sides along with Egypt would affect historical ties of the countries with Ethiopia.

"The League of Arab States has a reputation for its unfettered and unconditional support to any claim Egypt has presented on the issue of the Nile" the latest letter added.

Ethiopia said that the Arab League's intervention was inappropriate and undermines the ongoing AU-led tripartite negotiation efforts to bring about a final and binding deal among the trios.

"The approach followed by the League risks undermining the friendly and cooperative relations between AU and the Arab League since the trilateral negotiation on the GERD is underway under the auspices of the African Union (AU)" the letter further said.

The letter notes that the AU, as a common organization for Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan, offers the tripartite a platform to negotiate and reach a win-win outcome guided by the conviction of finding "African solutions to Africa's challenges."

The letter further states that Ethiopia is engaging in the trilateral negotiations in good faith and continuing its utmost commitment to make the AU-led process a success and calls on the two lower riparian countries of the Nile to remain faithful to the ongoing African Union-led negotiation.

Ethiopia has also renewed its call on the international community to encourage Egypt and Sudan to abide by the accepted principles of international law on the utilization of transboundary water resources.

Sudan and Egypt have previously called on Arab League countries to intervene in the dam issues.

The UN Security Council, a few days ago, has called on the three countries to express their concerns and return to the negotiating table.

Today, Ethiopia has begun the second phase of dam filling, raising fears of fresh tensions between the horn of Africa's nation and the two downstream countries.

Egypt has fiercely reacted to Ethiopia's dam filling move, saying it would jeopardise regional stability.