Sudan Expresses Concern Over Involvement In Talks on Disputed Dam

Sudan expressed its concern about participating in a ministerial meeting on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) convened on Monday, said the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources of the country.

“Based on the outcome of the tripartite ministerial meeting held on Sunday, Sudan requested the convening of a bilateral meeting with the African Union (AU) experts and observers on the evening,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Instead of a response to the request, Sudan received an invitation to continue the direct tripartite talks, which pushed it to announce reservation over participation, to show its firm position on the need to give a role to the AU experts to facilitate the negotiations and narrow the gap among the three parties,” it noted.

The ministry further emphasized Sudan’s adherence to the AU negotiating framework, in line with the “African solutions for African issues” concept.

On Sunday, Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia decided to suspend the one-week GERD tripartite talks, to be resumed on 10 January.

Under the AU patronage, the three countries have been negotiating on technical and legal issues relating to the filling and service of the GERD.

Sudanese negotiators are of the opinion that the GERD talks should go beyond the level of irrigation ministers and refer political will to the AU and to the leaders of the three countries to move their positions together.

Ethiopia, which began building the GERD in 2011, expects to generate more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity from the project, while Egypt and Sudan, the downstream countries of the Nile Basin that depend on the river for their fresh water, are worried that their water supply may be impacted by the dam.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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