The Nile Rivalry and Its Peace and Security Implications: What Can the African Union Do?

The first and the second meetings between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the Grand
Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) ever to be led by the African Union (AU) took place
on June 26, 2020, and recently from 2-13 July 2020.
On June 27, 2020, the AU issued a communiqué setting out the decisions of the
meeting, which was called and chaired by the AU chairperson, President Ramaphosa
of South Africa, and by the Bureau. AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki presented
a report stating that ‘90 % of the issues of the Tripartite Negotiations between Egypt,
Ethiopia and Sudan have already been resolved’.
The Bureau made five significant decisions. The first was that ‘the three Parties refrain
from making any statements, or taking any actions that may jeopardize or complicate
the AU-led process aimed at finding an acceptable solution on all outstanding matters.
Secondly, it decided to ‘augment the Tripartite Committee dealing with the GERD
issues consisting of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan with the participation of observers
namely South Africa in its capacity as Chairperson of the AU, the Members of the
Bureau of AU, experts from the [AU] Commission’. Thirdly, ‘the augmented Committee
[is to] present its report to the Chairperson of the AU … within a week’ from June 27
2020 (hence before July 5 2020). Fourth, the Bureau decided to reconvene the AU-led
meeting within two weeks from June 27 2020 (i.e., before July 5 2020) and ‘consider a
report on the outcome of the negotiations of the outstanding issues concerning the
GERD matter’. Fifth and finally, the Bureau requested the UN Security Council (UNSC)
‘to take note of the fact that the AU is seized of this matter.’

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