Sudanese Defense and Security Council held an emergency session on Monday.
The council discussed major and urgent local and regional issues, as well as developments related to Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Moreover, the council heard a report by Defense Minister, Maj-General Yassin Ibrahim on the outcomes of the UN Security Council session on the GERD, and the practical options and steps that must be taken to preserve Sudan’s rights in this regard.
It is worth mentioning that, the Sudanese Minister of Irrigation, Yasir Abbas, welcomed on Sunday the United Nations Security Council’s engagement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), calling for the resumption of an enhanced negotiations process.
He also urged Ethiopia to refrain from taking further unilateral actions related to the GERD file.
During the UNSC meeting that lasted for over three hours on Thursday, members called on Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt to complete their talks, to settle the dispute over the GERD, under the umbrella of the African Union, in good faith and away from any unilateral action or agitating statements, in the pursuit of a deal that could allow the three countries to reach an agreement that accommodates their aspirations and concerns.
Foreign ministers of Egypt and Sudan, Sameh Shoukry and Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi addressed the meeting, expressing the growing concerns of the two downstream countries over the construction of the mega-dam on the Blue Nile by Ethiopia, the upstream state, without any agreement or coordination with Egypt and Sudan.
During the meeting, Egypt’s foreign minister said that Cairo will have to “uphold and protect its inherent right to life” if no legal agreement is reached on the GERD.
During her speech, the Sudanese foreign minister spoke on how the GERD is considered a threat to her country’s Rosiries Dam if Ethiopia continues the second filling unilaterally without a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation policies of the dam on Sunday.
On the other hand, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water Resources Seleshi Bekele denied any harm caused by the GERD to the downstream countries and at the same time declined any role of the UNSC in managing the dispute over the GERD. He also made no promises that Ethiopia would refrain from unilateralism pending the finalization of an agreement under the AU-led negotiations.