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UN asks Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia to resolve GERD issue under the auspices of the African Union

The UN Security Council, rejecting the draft resolution on the GERD issue drafted by Egypt and conveyed by Tunisia, invites the parties to seek mediation under the auspices of the African Union. A defeat for Cairo, where Sudan once again seeks to place itself in a third and more moderate position.

On September 15, the UN Security Council officially asked Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to resume talks for negotiations on the management of the GERD dam, under the auspices of the African Union.

The request follows the repeated attempts of Egypt – through Tunisia as a temporary member of the Security Council – to obtain the adoption of a resolution by the UNSC, which on the contrary, has clearly shown that it does not want to bring an issue such as the management of water resources of the Blue Nile to the vote of the Security Council.

The request for a resumption of talks between the parties involved under the aegis of the African Union actually rewards the position of Ethiopia, which had repeatedly rejected the attempt by Egypt and – to a lesser extent – Sudan to extend the list of negotiating partners on the issue of the dam to the United Nations, the United States and the European Union.

The UN, once again, reiterates that the African Union is the most appropriate framework for the management of the controversial issue related to the development of the GERD dam and the filling of the reservoir connected to it, which Egypt and Sudan denounce as an existential threat to their interests.

The adoption of an official communiqué by the UN Security Council, in which the parties are asked to identify the terms of a binding and mutually satisfactory agreement within the African negotiating forum par excellence, the African Union, constitutes a meager victory for Egypt, which had tried to include these terms in the motion for a resolution presented several times by Tunisia and systematically rejected by the Security Council.

On September 18, however, the foreign minister of Sudan, Mrs. Mariam Sadiq al Mahdi, announced that the government of Khartoum has accepted the offer of mediation of the Turkish government with Ethiopia, confirming even at this juncture a divergent position from the more drastic and less flexible of Egypt.

Adele Sariach
Adele Sariach
Analyst per l’Africa dell’Institute for Global Studies, presso la sede di Bruxelles (Belgio). Ha studiato Relazioni Internazionali in Sud Africa e ha vissuto in Camerun, Tanzania e Nigeria. L’ambito professionale di interesse di Adele Sariach è quello dell’analisi dei sistemi politici dell’Africa Occidentale e Centrale, con particolare riferimento all’evoluzione degli autoritarismi e delle dinamiche etnico-tribali.


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