Mon, 09 Nov 2020 - 11:03 GMT
CAIRO – 9 November 2020: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok affirmed during a meeting, Monday Khartoum’s stance on reaching a fair agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), to all three countries of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia under the supervision of the African Union.
He added that the agreement must ensure the safe operation of the Roseires dam, which is located on a short distance from the Renaissance Dam.
According to Sudan News Agency [SUNA], Hamdok said that the negotiations towards reaching a fair agreement must be carried out with new approach, allowing a greater role for the African Union experts in the negotiation process.
During the meeting of the Supreme Committee to follow up the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam updates, it was stressed that Sudan will be supporting the negation process until reaching a fair agreement.
Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said in a statement Wednesday that discussions among Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the GERD have showed a lack of agreement as regards the methodology for completing negotiations in the coming stage
This came after the water ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia held a meeting about the best framework for managing ongoing African Union-brokered negotiations on the Ethiopian dam, the ministry added.
The statement noted that the three countries agreed that each of them would submit a report to South Africa, the current chair of the African Union, including the course of meetings and their vision on ways to implement the outcomes of the two African Union Bureau’s meetings, which were held at the summit level on June 26 and July 21, 2020.
The two meetings have approved a proposal according to which the three countries would conclude a binding legal agreement on filling and operating the Renaissance Dam, it said.
Constructions in the Grand Renaissance Dam started on April 2, 2011 at a cost of $4.8 billion. It was built by the Italian construction and engineering company Salini Impergilo. The Italian company is headquartered in Milan. The dam is located on the Blue Nile with a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and is expected to generate up to 6,000 megawatts of power.
The disagreement among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia dates back to May 2011 when Ethiopia started building the dam; Egypt voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters]. Three years later, a series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan began to reach an agreement, while Ethiopia continued the dam construction.
In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam. In October 2019, Egypt blamed Addis Ababa for hindering a final agreement concerning a technical problem, calling for activating Article No. 10 of the Declaration of Principles, which stipulates that if the three countries could not find a solution to these disputes, they have to ask for mediation.
The main point of disagreement at present is that Ethiopia does not want a binding agreement, which has caused the suspension of talks. An agreement was reached in January but Ethiopia did not attend the signing meeting in Washington. Later, several negotiations rounds took place but were in vain culminating into the current stalemate.