After the Egyptian-Ethiopian dispute over the Renaissance Dam in the political and diplomatic arena in Kinshasa (the capital of the Congo) under the supervision of the African Union ended without any results, the two sides have started their fight over water on social networks.(Map quoted from Yahoo's image)
Addressing Ethiopia, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said: "Do not encroach on our share of water on the Nile because all options are available.
Of the two main branches of the Nile, the Blue Nile originates from the Ethiopian highlands. The Renaissance Dam which is one of the largest dams in Africa with a cost of about five billion dollars is being constructed on this branch. The dam will be able to generate more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity in the future.
For reasons such as the increasing need for water for the economic development of agriculture, industry and, most importantly, the supply of drinking water to Egypt's 90 million people, the importance of the Nile for the national security of this country has increased.
In this situation, with the increasing attention of the other countries of the Nile River Basin to the use of the Nile water, Egypt is in a fateful situation, which has various consequences and practically affects the political life of this country.
Egypt has previously emphasized that this is a colonial plan and its main goal is to put Egypt's agricultural resources in an impasse. From the Egyptian point of view, the construction of the Renaissance Dam will also reduce Egypt's share of water resources, and Egyptian agriculture will be in danger of extinction, and it will be a great threat to Egypt's national security and the beginning of water poverty.
Ethiopia, on the other hand, believes that by building this large dam, it can export electricity to neighboring countries and, in addition to political gains, also reap huge economic and financial benefits. In fact, the Ethiopians, realizing the internal situation in Egypt, intend to advance the Ennahda (Renaissance) intake through international and regional recruitment (countries upstream of the Nile) and attracting international and regional investors.
In fact, in the second stage of filling the reservoir of Renaissance Dam, they follow the approach (no force on earth can prevent the construction of the dam and its dewatering).
Therefore, in the current situation and in the face of all the pressures of Egypt and Sudan, it has not retreated. But Ethiopia alone cannot consolidate its position as a naval power against Egypt unless it has the support of regional and international actors.
What is clear is that the countries upstream of the Nile believe that the current type of water distribution is not fair. However, Cairo has considered various approaches to the Ennahda (Renaissance) and its threat to Egypt's national security, from military to diplomatic.
Meanwhile, Egypt is trying to block Ethiopia from the intake program by gaining domestic national support for a unified approach to Ethiopia, diplomatic approaches, cooperation from Arab countries and the Arab League, the African Union and the United Nations, and granting the EU-US and UN partnership.
However, it should be noted that the failure of the negotiations on the crisis of Renaissance Dam has led to more security and military scenarios. Meanwhile, Egypt and Ethiopia have various problems, and any military conflict and full-scale war between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia is to the detriment of African national development.
However, in the current situation, it seems that this could be considered by Cairo as the final option in maintaining Egypt's water and geopolitical security.
Farzad Ramezani Bonesh
Senior Researcher and Analyst of International Affairs