Sudan and Egypt to press Ethiopia on resolving the disputes over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

  • Khartoum, April 14 2021: The leaders of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia will meet in a closed setting to discuss the long standing dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the filling of its vast reservoir. The planned summit will be held by video-conference.

Addis Ababa’s mega dam on the Blue Nile has been regarded as an existential threat by Egypt and Khartoum fears its own dams and water supply would be harmed if no deal is reached with Ethiopia for filling the reservoir. Last week, talks involving the three countries hosted by the African Union chair, Congo, failed to reach a binding agreement over the operation of the dam.

Both Egypt and Sudan have been pushing for a binding agreement before Ethiopia completes the filling of the dam’s vast reservoir which it began last year.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok invited his Egyptian counterpart Mostafa Madbouli and Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed to a summit within 10 days to evaluate the negotiations regarding GERD. The press release from the Prime Minister office said Hamdok expressed concern the dam’s construction had reached an advanced stage, making “reaching a deal before the start of operation an urgent and pressing matter”.

An offer by Ethiopia to share data with Sudan and Egypt last week, was rejected since the two counties complained of “fallacies” in the figures and an “unacceptable tendency” by Addis Ababa to take unilateral steps. Meanwhile, Ethiopia insists the power produced by the huge hydro-electric project is indispensable for its development.

The tensions over the dam come as Sudan’s relations with Egypt warm while its relations with Ethiopia have been hit by a dispute over the use of farmland near the common border.

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