Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Khartoum Calls for Internationalizing GERD Talks

Khartoum Calls for Internationalizing GERD Talks

Wednesday, 24 February, 2021 - 07:45
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Reuters file photo

Sudan has toughened its rhetoric in the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that Addis Ababa is constructing on the Blue Nile.

It called for international mediators to resolve the dispute, including the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union and the United States.

Sudanese Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasser Abbas urged parties to the negotiations on the dam to consider GERD a means for regional cooperation rather than political tension between Khartoum, Addis Ababa and Cairo.

The unilateral second filling of the dam in July represents a “direct threat” to Sudan’s national security, SUNA quoted Abbas as saying on Monday. He hoped for a binding agreement between the three countries before the deadline.

He said the filling of GERD threatens 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, he stressed.

The Irrigation Ministry has taken several technical and diplomatic precautionary measures to face the possible filling of the mega dam, Abbas noted.

He affirmed that his country is currently working on bolstering the AU mediation and include the UN, EU, and the US in the talks as mediators.

Cairo and Khartoum stress the need to reach a binding and comprehensive agreement that guarantees the rights and interests of the three countries and includes a mechanism for settling disputes on the filling and operation of the dam.

Ethiopia refused to sign a final agreement on the rules of filling and operating the dam earlier in 2020, under the mediation of the US and World Bank, prompting Khartoum to boycott the tripartite talks on January 10.

Editor Picks