The Renaissance Dam crisis no longer belongs to the Nile River Basin, but has become an African issue

Representative of the “Nile for Peace” initiative: The Renaissance Dam crisis no longer belongs to the Nile River Basin, but has become an African issue

Cairo, June 13 / Asha / Kofi Kankam, a representative of the “African Water for Peace: Nile for Peace” initiative, revealed that he had arranged a visit for the members of the initiative to Ethiopia, at the request of the Ethiopian ambassador to Cairo, in addition to organizing the members of the initiative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Considering that its president is the current president of the African Union, a meeting with the special team on the issue of the Renaissance Dam in the office of the Presidency of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to present the initiative and the document to it, and to consider what there were steps that can be taken in the near future.
Kofi Kankam said – in his speech, during the press conference, which was held today / Sunday / by the “Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights” – “Although I am from Ghana, and I do not belong to Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, or even any of the Nile Basin countries, but That the problem no longer belongs to the Nile River Basin only, but it has become an African crisis, between African countries, its repercussions will affect all African countries .. There are other rivers in Africa, and we fear that this crisis will be the beginning of other conflicts between African countries sharing the rivers of Africa.
He added: “As the Chair of the Major Non-Governmental Organizations Group in Africa, and the Vice-Chair of the African Mechanism for Major Governmental Organizations, I have taken upon me the responsibility of contributing to the protection of any African people from any potential conflict that may affect them and their future.. And because we are directly working to achieve Sustainable Development Goals in the 2030 Agendas of the United Nations and of the African Union 2063, I stress the link between the current crisis between the source and mouth of the Nile River, with all the sustainable development goals, not only the sixth goal of “ensuring the availability of water and sanitation for all”, but all the goals If the international community and African countries really want to achieve these goals, it is necessary that they consider the current crisis as a major and urgent crisis, in order to uphold the spirit of solidarity and reject any disagreement.
He explained that the “African Water Initiative for Peace: Nile for Peace” affirms that the right to development is an inherent right and is protected in accordance with all international conventions and norms, and a country cannot be forced to stop development for the benefit of its people, but that development is conditional on not harming others, especially In case the damage was severe.
He presented the activities carried out by the initiative’s delegation, which came to Cairo more than a week ago, to conduct a number of meetings and meetings with official agencies and stakeholders from ministries and embassies, and on top of those visits: a visit to the Ethiopian Embassy in Cairo.
And he continued: “And that visit specifically we declare and what it came with after the Ethiopian ambassador announced its outcomes, and during this visit, the delegation of the Nile Initiative for Peace presented the African document issued by the initiative, that document that includes hundreds of members, and was drafted by a number of community organizations.” The African civilian, and we reflected on him the African point of view and the recommendations to postpone the second filling of the Renaissance Dam, and the need to reach a legal agreement binding on all parties, guaranteeing the rights of the three peoples and protecting future generations, with the importance of compensating Ethiopia for the damages that it can bear, and we heard from him the Ethiopian point of view as well as Ethiopia’s need development, especially in the field of electricity and agriculture.
He said, “The delegation of the initiative met with officials of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry and the Egyptian negotiating team, to which we also presented the African viewpoint and recommendations to postpone the second filling of the Renaissance Dam, with the importance of compensating Ethiopia for the damages it can bear, as well as the need to reach a legal agreement binding on all parties, guaranteeing the rights of The three peoples, and protects future generations, and we heard from them Egypt’s position on the issue, and the Egyptian rights to the Nile waters in accordance with historical agreements and in accordance with international law, and what could befall Egypt as a result of any unilateral actions taken by Ethiopia, and the negotiating delegation presented the alternative solutions that Egypt presented to reach For a meeting point where we can overcome differences and reach a peaceful solution that satisfies everyone.”
He also referred to the meeting of the initiative’s delegation, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Aty, who stated that Egypt and Sudan demanded the formation of an international quartet led by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in which the United States, the European Union and the United Nations participate to mediate between the three countries, and stressed that Egypt and Sudan will not accept a unilateral act to fill And the operation of the Ethiopian dam, and he mentioned the severe damage that Sudan suffered as a result of unilateral filling last year, which caused Sudan to suffer from a severe drought, followed by a massive flood.
He added that “the delegation of the initiative also met with a number of members of the Egyptian Parliament, and listened from them to the viewpoint of the Egyptian people, whom they represent as representatives, and the fears of the Egyptian people about the impact of the dam on their water rights, and they informed us about the possibility of the Renaissance Dam’s impact on human rights and economic conditions in Egypt in a way.” In more detail, they also presented how Parliament dealt with the crisis, and added, “In sum, all the official government agencies we interviewed confirmed that Egypt is seeking peacefully to negotiate based on good intentions, and constantly striving to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis, through negotiations, without any losses. to any party.”
Regarding the future plan of the members of the Nile for Peace Initiative, he noted that the members of the initiative from other countries carried out introductory activities about the initiative as national activities to introduce the initiative, and organized visits similar to what was done in Cairo, and it is expected that a larger number of visits will be carried out in the coming period along the same lines.
He added, “We also arrange for visits and meetings at an international level, in which we communicate with international bodies, including the European Parliament and decision-makers in the United States of America in the Congress and the American Senate.”
He said, “Indeed, we contacted a large number of embassies in New York, and sent them the document, and most of the reactions were positive and encouraging about the document and the initiative, as well as arranging for the work of a number of side events on the sidelines of the work of the high-level political forum at the United Nations, bringing together all Africans and stakeholders concerned with the crisis, To present the initiative and listen to their views as a form of international solidarity, and to stress the need for binding agreements for governments not to harm any of the interests of other peoples.
He continued: “All these steps that we are taking are at the level of civil society, they are with individual self-efforts, and civil society may play a role that governments cannot play, and civil society may say what governments cannot declare, and from here comes the importance and strength of the initiative.” On the one hand, it is an African solution to African problems, and on the other hand, the initiative offers alternatives that take into account the rights of all, without one people being affected positively and another negatively, stressing that the opportunity is still available to transform the potential conflict into cooperation and a role model.
A representative of the “Africa’s Water for Peace: Nile for Peace” initiative concluded his speech by concluding the document by saying: “One Nile, one family.”
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