Professor of International Relations at Sudanese universities, Mohamed Abdel Hamid Mohamed Ahmed, believes that Sudan and Egypt’s recourse to the Security Council without the “keyword” would be futile. This word is represented by the question “Does the Renaissance Dam threaten international peace and security?”
Muhammad Ahmed tells Al Jazeera Net that Egypt has previously resorted to the Security Council, and that there are actors in the Council who have an interest in the Ethiopian dam, and they can use the veto to prevent the passage of any resolution against Ethiopia. The academic specializing in disaster risk reduction asks, “What do Sudan and Egypt demand? Are they at the heart of one man, or do misfortunes unite the injured?” He points out that last February, Egypt resorted to the Arab League, while Sudan refused to “Arabize.” The dispute is in a shocking position.
Sudanese and Egyptian official statements have continued, rejecting the military option, which Washington seems to have explicitly warned against.
In an explanation of the Sudanese Ministry of Irrigation this month, one of its officials revealed that he had visited the Renaissance Dam, and noted that the area on which it is being built is a paramilitary, as the Ethiopian authorities impose strict measures 30 kilometers away from it. The official said that the dam was designed as a facility in a war zone, with a crag dam built with huge marble rocks in the foundation.
And Muhammad Ahmed warns that if military force is resorted to, Sudan will be the biggest loser, strategically and politically. It shows that Sudan will lose strategically because the dams are considered civilian objects and are prohibited internationally, and Ethiopia can respond by striking the Sudanese Roseires dam, which is about 120 kilometers from its borders.
The professor of international relations asserts that the destruction of the Renaissance Dam will strike the civilian component of the transitional government in Sudan, and lead to the military’s overriding the political decision. This hypothesis is strongly present in the statement of the Ministry of Irrigation to Al Jazeera Net about the inclination of civilians in the government for a political compromise agreed upon by all parties with the possibility of internationalizing the crisis in the event of failure to reach a settlement.
The ministry cautioned that ministry officials had reservations last month about the timing of military exercises between the Sudanese and Egyptian armies called “Protectors of the Nile.” The same sources expected that the file of the Renaissance Dam would proceed to an agreement that guarantees Sudan the exchange of information that guarantees the protection of its dams on the Blue Nile, “the Roseires Dam and the Sennar Reservoir.”
Khartoum, Cairo and Addis Ababa reached consensus on 90% of the draft agreement for filling and operating the Renaissance Dam, including an agreement to exchange data daily. But the parties differ on technical issues related to how to fill in the years of drought and extended drought, and in the mandatory agreement and the dispute resolution mechanism.
On June 1, the US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, began a tour that included Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kenya, focusing on the Renaissance Dam and regional stability. Last May, the same envoy visited Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. The Sudanese Minister of Irrigation said earlier that the US envoy had not yet presented an initiative, but his visit was to feel the positions of the parties.
It is hoped that Feltman will propose a solution that will avoid the parties of the Renaissance Dam, at least, before the date of the second filling of the dam, when the dam’s lake will be filled with 18 billion cubic meters.
Sudan demands a binding legal agreement to fill and operate the dam, warning that without this agreement, the Ethiopian dam, which is about 15 kilometers from the border of Sudan, poses a threat to the lives of 20 million Sudanese.
Are there features of an agreement?
So far, it seems that ending the crisis of the Renaissance Dam will proceed to divide the filling and operation agreement that Sudan demands by signing an interim agreement that begins with filling the dam and a subsequent agreement to operate it.
Officials of the Sudanese Ministry of Irrigation are cautious with attempts to show goodwill issued by the Ethiopian side, represented in an Ethiopian letter on the tenth of last April informing the Sudanese side of the disbursement of 600 million cubic meters through the Renaissance Dam.
And this month, the Ethiopian authorities informed their Sudanese counterparts of the start of emptying the Takze dam on the Setit River, which enabled Sudan to warn its citizens in front and behind the upper dams of the Atbara and Setit rivers and the Khashm El-Girba reservoir.
Professor of International Relations Mohamed Ahmed says that Ethiopia has nothing to give up to Egypt and Sudan because of its control over the largest water resource in the region, so it “is moving forward strongly in a renaissance project that unites it,