Ethiopia, the two countries of Egypt and Sudan, did not give much time to respond to their request to internationalize the Renaissance Dam negotiations after announcing the start of the second mobilization in July, to announce its refusal to internationalize and adhere to the Declaration of Principles agreement signed between the three countries.
After about 10 years of “deadlock” negotiations in the dam file, the Egyptian and Sudanese alternatives have receded in overcoming the potential “negative” repercussions on their shares and water installations, at a time when Addis Ababa has made a great progress in construction and is waiting months after the second filling of the dam.
Cairo has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to the negotiation track, but the past months witnessed an unprecedented diplomatic and military movement between Egypt and Sudan, tirelessly through military maneuvers and joint security agreements at a time fraught with crises in the region, especially on the Sudanese-Ethiopian borders, in addition to a civil conflict that did not stop inside Ethiopia.
With the receding of the alternatives in front of Egypt and Sudan, Cairo renewed its rejection of the fait accompli policy, and called for the resumption of negotiations with a specified time, in conjunction with Sudanese talk about the dangerous effects of the second filling of the dam on millions of Sudanese citizens.
In a joint statement issued in Cairo on Tuesday during the visit of Sudanese Foreign Minister Maryam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi to Egypt, the two countries affirmed their adherence to Khartoum’s proposal to form an international quadripartite committee that includes the United Nations, the European Union, Africa and the United States to mediate in the dam negotiations, after Ethiopia announced the start of the second mobilization of the Renaissance Dam.
They stressed that Ethiopia’s implementation of the second phase of filling the dam unilaterally would pose a direct threat to the water security of Egypt and Sudan, especially with regard to the operation of Sudanese dams and threaten the lives of 20 million Sudanese citizens, and confirmed that this measure would be a material breach of the 2015 Declaration of Principles agreement.
However, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti said that his country rejects the internationalization of the Renaissance Dam file, and adheres to the Declaration of Principles agreement signed between the three countries, indicating that the Addis Ababa option is peace to resolve the border dispute with Sudan, ruling out a war with the two countries.
The effects of the second refill
The Egyptian academic Mohamed Hafez, a professor of dams and ports engineering, ruled out any effect of the second filling of the Renaissance Dam Lake on his country, explaining that Ethiopia will store about 15 billion cubic meters of the coming flood, and this reservation and storage will be disbursed from Lake Nasser (southern Egypt) to compensate for it.
In statements to Al-Jazeera Net, he added that every billion cubic meters that will be stored in front of the Renaissance Dam will be withdrawn from Lake Nasser, and therefore Egypt will not feel any negative impact of the second filling because it is withdrawn from the stockpile of Lake Nasser, which will lose this amount without compensation in the next flood.
Whereas, according to Hafez, the very bad impact will be on Sudan, especially the inhabitants of the countryside and villages on the Blue Nile, starting from the Roseires Dam (near the Renaissance Dam) to Khartoum, and they are equivalent to about 20 million people.
Hafez explained that the second filling of the dam would prevent Sudanese citizens from running the Blue Nile for nearly two full months so that Ethiopia could store about 15 billion cubic meters during the coming months of July and August, explaining that in this case the citizens of Sudan need to draw water from the underground water to avoid Risks of holding water.
Between popular pressure and a military solution
There remain two options for Egypt to face the potential negative repercussions, according to the Egyptian academic, the first valid only during the period from the beginning of this March to the first of next May, and it is based on popular pressure on the International Quartet for the Egyptian community to come out in front of the embassies and headquarters of these countries and organizations. In Egypt, and expresses his anger and resentment over the world’s handling of the worst problem facing his country.
He expected that the popular pressure paper would send strong messages to the rulers and officials of those countries and organizations, prompting them to put pressure on Ethiopia, stressing that without this pressure, these countries and organizations would not exert pressure on Ethiopia.
Hafez added that if America and the World Bank saw a noise in Egypt, they would put pressure on Addis Ababa, especially as they provide it with dam technology, financing and power lines.
And he demanded that his country’s government set a specific time, the last of which is the first of next May, which is the second option – in his view – so that if diplomatic and political means do not succeed, then the Egyptian army should go to Ethiopia to destroy any obstacle that prevents the natural flows from the Blue Nile from reaching Egypt, as he put it. .
Hafez said that the final solution may be military, and it requires that it come when the amount of water in front of the Renaissance Dam is as little as possible, about 3.5 billion square meters, and that will be from the first of May to the first of next July, during which these two months will allow Ethiopia to let out some of the existing water. Currently so you can drain the middle section of the dam and its lake and build on it.
He added that this is the best opportunity for resorting to a military solution, noting that the Roseires Dam must be completely emptied before any military strike so that the water inside the Renaissance Dam is emptied without affecting the Roseires Dam.
In turn, the Egyptian writer and researcher in international relations, Ahmed Maulana, expected the escalation of Egyptian pressure as the idea of an international mediation, indicating that Cairo is betting that the Egyptian-Sudanese escalation will push regional international parties to intervene so that matters do not reach a conflict and war between the parties.
In statements to Al-Jazeera Net, he indicated that the international powers are not in their interest for the East African region to witness a war between Egypt and Sudan and Ethiopia, as its repercussions will be significant in matters of migration, security fragility, and the collapse of power and systems in the region, and thus it is pushing international pressure to intervene in an agreement that the parties agree to. Three.
As for the idea of forming an international quartet to solve the crisis of the Ethiopian dam file, Mawlana stressed that it is possible if the major countries feel the danger of the scene and turn into a war, and thus will pressure the three countries to reach a solution, warning that otherwise, the option of escalation on the Sudanese-Ethiopian borders is likely.
He explained that Egypt, in this case, is keen to improve its relationship with Sudan and support it in any possible conflict under the pretext of border problems.
As for the remaining options before Egypt, Mawlana believes that Egypt has a series of other options, such as supporting the Tigrayan rebels in the face of the Ethiopian government, supporting the ethnic groups that have differences with the central government in Addis Ababa and Amhara that currently controls, as well as the option to support Sudan militarily in the event of a clash with Ethiopia. next period.
A common threat
The sudden improvement between Cairo and Khartoum recently attributed by the Egyptian researcher to that it is naturally due to the existence of a common threat represented by the Ethiopian role and intransigence in the Renaissance Dam crisis, in addition to the change of the Sudanese administration and the army’s assumption of power, so that the two persons, whether Sisi and Burhan, represent the armed forces of the two countries, and they are closer to each other in particular In light of the common challenges they face.
Commenting on the Ethiopian declaration rejecting the internationalization of the dam file, Maulana said that it is normal and expected in light of the Ethiopian intransigence, expecting that the coming period will witness more verbal escalation and the threat of military build-up on the borders, and a call for external parties to intervene, considering that the option of launching a comprehensive war or Egypt’s launching a military operation Directly in Ethiopia is unlikely because Ethiopia has made great progress in building the dam.