Sunday 02 May 2021
Books – Ahmed Massad:
The state of tension between the three countries (Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia) is increasing as a result of Addis Ababas insistence on implementing the second filling of the Renaissance Dam, estimated at 13.5 billion cubic meters, unilaterally, without signing a legal agreement that guarantees the rights of the two downstream states, and does not take into account their share in the Nile waters.
This comes in light of continuous demands from the two downstream countries to sign a legal agreement that does not prevent the construction of the dam, but confirms the rights of the two countries, and provides statistical data on the dam and the dates of filling and discharging, but Ethiopia constantly refuses.
“The binding legal agreement restricts the plan to dominate the Nile.” With these words, Dr. Musaed Abdel Ati, a professor of international law, began by saying that the signing of a binding legal agreement secures the safety of the dam, guarantees the stages of filling, storage and water discharges, and does not affect the shares of the two downstream countries and loses the dam His political value, noting that Ethiopias goals have become clearer than ever.
Abdel Atti pointed out to “Masrawy” that what applies to the Renaissance Dam will apply to the rest of the dams that Addis Ababa intends to launch soon, explaining that the agreement binds Ethiopia to the rules of international law, which is definitely rejected by Ethiopia.
The professor of international law emphasized that the principle of law and its rules that were inaugurated in 1966, which include environmental, strategic and economic risks, preserve Egypt’s rights, because all of these reasons apply to the two downstream countries.
Abdel Atti pointed out that the construction of dams is an inherent right of every state, provided prior notification and real studies are submitted about the safety of the facility, the size of storage and filling and the dates of disposal, otherwise it represents an attack on neighboring countries, and Ethiopia is a source country, which means that everyone will be affected, other than Egypt and Sudan.
The Kinshasa tour in the Democratic Republic of the Congo failed last April 8 under the auspices of the African Union, as Egypt and Sudan offered international mediation and Ethiopia rejected it.
Dr. Hani Raslan, a consultant to the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies, said that the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project is not a developmental as Ethiopia claims, but rather a political project that receives great support from regional countries, noting that signing the final agreement ends the state of bullying, because Addis Ababa will sign it with its desire and any violation. It will give Egypt international legitimacy to deal with it.
Raslan added to “Masrawy” that Ethiopia deals with the Blue Nile River as one of the common rivers between the Nile Basin countries, pointing out that Ethiopia is not fulfilling its promises and should not be dealt with in good faith, but according to binding and specific legal rules.
He continued, “Ethiopia has already damaged Kenya after Lake Turkana was drought as a result of Ethiopias building of several dams on the Juba River, and the same thing happened with the Shabelle River heading to Somalia.”
Raslan pointed out that the case of Egypt has an additional reason, as Egypt has water scarcity, while Ethiopia rejects all rules of international law, and is conservative about the 1997 agreement, and refused to sign it even though it entered into force.