French Ambassador to the United Nations Nicolas de Riviere said Thursday that the United Nations Security Council is likely to meet next week to discuss the dispute between Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt over a giant dam built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile.
Last month, Arab countries invited the 15 members of the council to meet to discuss the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Ethiopia’s plans to fill the dam for the second time this summer without an agreement with Sudan and Egypt.
Ethiopia is not keen on the intervention of the Security Council and instead asked the body to defer the issue to the African Union. Ethiopia has previously rejected calls from Egypt and Sudan to involve mediators from outside the African Union.
De Riviere, Council President for the month of July, noted that the Security Council had little to do but bring the parties together to express their concerns and then encourage them to return to negotiations to find a solution.
“I don’t think the council can do much more than that,” he told reporters.
Ethiopia pins its hopes on economic development and power generation on the dam, while the two downstream countries – Egypt and Sudan – are concerned about it and seek a binding agreement to fill and operate the dam.
Egypt depends on the Nile for up to 90% of its fresh water and considers the dam an existential threat. Sudan is concerned about the operation of the Nile dams and its water stations.