Talks in Sudan Over Repercussions of GERD’s Second Filling

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. AFP file photo
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. AFP file photo
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Talks in Sudan Over Repercussions of GERD’s Second Filling

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. AFP file photo
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. AFP file photo

The Sudanese ministries of foreign affairs and irrigation and water resources have held a meeting to assess the country’s position on the mega dam Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile.

Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi and Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas held a coordination meeting on Monday, with the participation of experts from both ministries, to assess the legal, political and technical aspects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the Sudanese news agency reported.

Meanwhile, senior irrigation ministry officials also discussed the repercussions of Addis Ababa’s announcement of its second filling of the GERD in July.

The filling of the Renaissance Dam by one side next July represents a direct threat to Sudan’s national security in case the three countries concerned (Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan) do not reach a legal and binding agreement on the rules of filling and operating the dam, they stressed.

The unilateral filling of the reservoir threatened electricity generation from Sudan’s Merowe Dam and Roseires Dam, as well as the safety of the Roseires Dam and of 20 million Sudanese living downstream of the GERD.

Last week, the ministry announced that the dam is expected to hold 13.5 billion cubic meters of water in the upcoming rainy season. Ethiopia had first filled the reservoir in 2020.

It highlighted the importance of preparing early and taking all necessary technical and administrative measures to face all possibilities before the second filling.

Last year, floodwaters in Sudan reached the highest levels on record, killing dozens of people, destroying thousands of homes, and encroaching on some neighborhoods of the capital Khartoum.

The previous rounds of negotiations have faltered due to the divergence of positions between Addis Ababa, Khartoum, and Cairo.

Therefore, Sudan kicked off intense diplomatic efforts to resume the stalled negotiations on the GERD to mobilize regional and international support for its position.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has earlier warned that the planned second filling of the GERD without a legal binding agreement with Egypt and Sudan would have a “disastrous impact” on Sudan.

He stressed that his country will not accept the de facto policy, which threatens its citizens and water installations on the Blue Nile.

Sudan demands that the dam be established on the basis of international law, which preserves the rights of all parties and ensures that no party gets affected, the PM noted.



13 Palestinians Killed in Central Gaza Strikes

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
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13 Palestinians Killed in Central Gaza Strikes

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)

At least 13 people were killed in three Israeli airstrikes that hit refugee camps in central Gaza overnight into Saturday, according to Palestinians health officials.

Among the dead in Nuseirat Refugee Camp and Bureij Refugee Camp were three children and one woman, according to Palestinian ambulance teams that transported the bodies to the nearby Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital.

The 13 corpses were counted by AP journalists at the hospital.

The latest casualties follow a rare moment of hope in war ravaged Gaza, after a medical teams recovered a live baby from a heavily pregnant Palestinian mother killed in an airstrike that hit her home in Nuseirat late Thursday evening.

Heavily pregnant Ola al-Kurd, 25, was killed along with six others in the blast, but was quickly rushed by emergency workers to Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza in the hope of saving the unborn child. Hours later, doctors told The Associated Press that a baby boy had been delivered.

The still-unnamed newborn is stable but has suffered from a shortage of oxygen and has been placed in an incubator, said Dr. Khalil Dajran. The baby boy's father was wounded in the same strike, but survived.

At least 38,919 Palestinians have been killed and 89,622 have been injured in the Israeli military offensive in Gaza since Oct. 7, the Gaza health ministry said in a statement on Saturday.