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Sudan Receives Ethiopia’s Interim Deal Proposal on GERD

Sudan Receives Ethiopia’s Interim Deal Proposal on GERD

Monday, 28 June, 2021 - 10:00
Sudan’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasir Abbas during a press conference (AFP file photo)

A senior Sudanese official confirmed receiving an agreement proposal from Ethiopia last week regarding the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

However, the draft meets only one of Sudan’s four conditions to accept an interim agreement, according to the official.

The official revealed new details regarding the Emirati initiative to resolve the conflict between Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt.

He told local media that his country is ready to accept the interim agreement provided that political and legal guarantees are available, under the supervision of the international community.

He also indicated that the deal must be established according to previous agreements, and should not include any discussion about water sharing, adding that it should not exceed six months to reach a final binding agreement.

The Ethiopian draft proposal is subject to the authority’s evaluation and the negotiating delegation, said the official, stressing that the interim deal should include Egypt.

“Ethiopia sets impossible conditions as it insists on raising the issue of water sharing within the negotiating agenda on the filling and operating of the dam.”

He explained that the Emirati initiative was presented to the three parties, and the draft established a general framework towards reaching an agreement, but “we see the need to expand it in the presence of an effective mediation.”

Sudan considers the GERD a “means of cooperation between the three countries, and rejects the hegemonic approach imposed by Ethiopia as a fait accompli by continuing the second filling without a binding agreement,” said the official.

He stressed that his country coordinated with Egypt the move to request an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council, aiming to overcome the differences with a legal agreement binding to all parties.

Sudan has taken technical precautions in its water facilities in anticipation of any step by Ethiopia to continue the second filling, which the official deemed a violation of international law.

Meanwhile, a senior government official said that Sudan submitted last week a request for an urgent session of the UN Security Council to discuss the GERD.

In the letter, Khartoum called on the council to urge Ethiopia to stop the “unilateral” filling of the dam, “which exacerbates the dispute and poses a threat to regional and international peace and security.”

She stressed that the dam is a national affair, and Sudan is committed to international law to resolve outstanding issues so that they do not threaten its national security and stability.

She warned against the political exploitation of the file, noting that it is dangerous and will not achieve stability and security in the region.

When asked about resorting to the military option to resolve the issue, the official replied: “We do not want war, and we will not resort to it.”

The official called on the UN, the European Union, African Union and US to urge Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia to agree to resolve the dispute over the GERD.

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