The United States Administration holding meetings with the other parties of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). However, the main party was holding separate meetings with the ones whose touched by the GERD, but not the one operating nor owning the dam. That is question of sovereign. Something, the US should understand, but they only understand it when it inflicts themselves.
The two statements from both parties shows the indifference from the United States, while the Ethiopian are answering it with a respectable tone. Even when the US is acting rogue on the matter. They even used the US Treasury on this and not the US State Department, which is weird in itself. Secondly, it was Mnuchin who was involved and not Pompeo. Which is very weird and seems like someone whose not knowledgable or having the capacity to understand the questions remaining in this matter are indirectly trying to negotiate it.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia noted with disappointment the Statement issued by the United States Department of Treasury on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) released on 28 February 2020, following a meeting held without Ethiopia’s participation. Ethiopia had notified Egypt, Sudan, and the US that it needed more time to deliberate on the process” (…) “Ethiopia as the owner of the GERD will commence first filling of the GERD in parallel with the construction of the Dam in accordance with the principles of equitable and reasonable utilization and the causing of no significant harm as provided for under the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles (DoP)” (Amare Asrat – ‘Ethiopian Government Statement on GERD negotiations’ 29.02.2020).
United States of America Statement:
“Washington, DC – On February 27-28, 2020, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin participated in separate bilateral meetings with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Ministers of Water Resources of Egypt and Sudan. The United States facilitated the preparation of an agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) based on provisions proposed by the legal and technical teams of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan and with the technical input of the World Bank” (…) “The United States reaffirms its commitment to remain engaged with the three countries until they sign the final agreement” (US Treasury – ‘Statement by the Secretary of the Treasury on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’ 28.02.2020).
With this final statement by the US, the observer role is dead. They are indirectly interfering and also using their financial powers to get the Ethiopian partners to succumb to a final agreement. Even when the Ethiopian are saying they need more time, the GERD is built by them and on their soil. It is their waters that is filling it up. They are not doing anything illegal by doing so, they are only friendly neighbours by trying to make sensible deals with Egypt and Sudan. That is what the US should understand.
I wonder if they we’re thinking of revamping the Nile Waters Agreement of 1929, a relic of the colonial era. If not, maybe the US thought they could push the 1959 treaty as well. Just because they have the power, but that was before the GERD and it was other regimes in place in Sudan and Egypt. The US shouldn’t push for this ones. Especially, when the US is not involving the owner and operator in talks. Which is disappointing, but also revealing their allies.
Egypt and Sudan needs to cooperate with Ethiopia. They should do so directly to seek their grievances, not work in direct tandem with Washington D.C. especially when Ethiopia is not part of it. That shows the three parties isn’t working together, but trying to score brownie points with the US.
This is not sincere. The approach not to be configured, if there shall be trust between Addis Ababa, Khartoum and Cairo. GERD need another approach by all parties. Especially the US should act sincere, because this talks with others are of no good. The Ethiopian side needs to be listen too, since they are the owner and operator. Not some fool with no vision.
Sudan and Egypt should play ball with Addis, not make love stories with Washington. That is not how these sort of diplomatic negotiations should go. They should know this, unless they wants to be puppets of the US. Peace.