The negotiations that had paused for a few months had started again recently only to halt by Egypt’s request to depict water shares on the treaty. Egypt had put out a complaint to the UN Security Council stating that Ethiopia’s stubbornness was the reason for the halt in negotiations. On June 22, the Ethiopian Minister of foreign affairs, Ato Gedu Andargachew submitted a letter to the UN Security Council President Nicholas Rivere explaining the negotiations are on hold because of Egypt’s unwavering demands to accept a colonial and unjust treaty. Ethiopia claims that the negotiation for water shares should not only be done among the three countries but must also involve other upper Nile Basin countries as well.
The current negotiation is based on the agreement signed in 2015 in Khartoum. Many technical issues have found resolution in this round of negotiations however, some issues remain intact. Egypt’s attempts to put diplomatic pressure by making this an international security issue will not be acceptable by Ethiopia. Ethiopia has made it clear that the country is only trying to eradicate the poverty that plagues its people through the construction of the dam and does not need to be reminded of its obligations. The dam will not cause any significant damage to the lower basin countries no matter how much Egypt is trying to mislead the international community otherwise.
The UN secretary has stated that the three countries namely Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan must resolve their issues on their own. Ethiopia, through this commotion, had the support of most of the international community more than expected. The Egyptian government has forbidden the country’s media to report on issues concerning the dam and anyone getting information from external sources will be punished.