The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Ethiopia's Succession in Hydro-Legal Prominence: A Script in Legal History of Diplomatic Confront (1957-2013)
Mizan Law Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2015
39 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2016
Date Written: December 1, 2015
This article argues that within the system of international law, while Ethiopia’s equitable right of access to resources of the Nile is recognized as a matter of settled principle, the law’s actual working is a coefficient of prior hydraulic measures adopted on the ground rather than mere articulation of legal norms, diplomatic civility or altercations. I also submit that the system of international law still remains vital in resolving transboundary water issues, and yet, the mechanics of law could not function optimally outside of power politic, diplomatic dexterity and sincere commitment to the fundamental values it upholds. In this light, and against a backdrop of Ethiopia’s relegated position in the second half of the twentieth century, the paper concludes that today the country’s relative renaissance in the Nile legal politics - which for the first time captured serious downstream interest in riparian negotiations - is attributed not to a change in the pertinence of the norms of international law nor to any altruistic revision of positions in the lower reaches of the river, but rather to its belated awakening in pursuing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as a national project of multifarious impact.
Keywords: The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Nile water resources development, Nile, legal diplomacy, Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan
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