Sudan Says Return to GERD Negotiations Subject to Change in Method

Sudan’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasir Abbas takes part in a trilateral meeting to resume negotiations on the GERD, in Khartoum, Sudan on Dec. 21, 2019. (AFP)
Sudan’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasir Abbas takes part in a trilateral meeting to resume negotiations on the GERD, in Khartoum, Sudan on Dec. 21, 2019. (AFP)
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Sudan Says Return to GERD Negotiations Subject to Change in Method

Sudan’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasir Abbas takes part in a trilateral meeting to resume negotiations on the GERD, in Khartoum, Sudan on Dec. 21, 2019. (AFP)
Sudan’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasir Abbas takes part in a trilateral meeting to resume negotiations on the GERD, in Khartoum, Sudan on Dec. 21, 2019. (AFP)

Sudan is unwilling to return to the Grand Renaissance Ethiopian Dam (GERD) negotiations with the old method, led by the African Union (AU).

Sudan’s Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasir Abbas urged a change in the negotiating method, saying: “Sudan is not ready to enter into talks with Ethiopia in the same previous way because it means buying time.”

Speaking at a press conference in Khartoum, Abbas said Khartoum demands a change in the AU’s negotiations methodology, developing the role of observers into mediators, and forming an international mediation quartet made up of the AU, United Nations, European Union, and US.

He asserted Sudan’s demand, which was proposed in Kinshasa in April, and backed by Egypt.

Abbas also stressed that exchanging information about filling and operating the GERD “is an absolute necessity” and that a legally binding agreement in this regard “must be signed.”

The official affirmed that the GERD could be beneficial to Sudan provided that information is exchanged with Sudanese officials managing the Roseires Dam under a legally binding agreement.

The GERD will completely change the flow of the Blue Nile by flattening its hydrograph, and with its gigantic size, it “poses substantial threats to Sudan if it is not properly designed, constructed, filled and operated,” he continued.

Abbas reiterated his government’s commitment to serious negotiations as the only way to resolve the dispute over the dam.

“When we say the Roseires Dam, we mean that the entire water system from Khartoum to Atbara will be affected, as well as drinking water plants. It will go out of service if the water level drops to less than 90 million cubic meters.”

The official ruled out Sudan’s signing of a bilateral agreement with Ethiopia, saying the Blue Nile is an international river shared by countries.

“Sudan will benefit from the GERD in terms of generating electricity and reducing silt and floods, but only on the condition that there is a binding tripartite agreement,” said Abbas.

He reiterated that the three parties agreed on 90 percent of the contentious issues, which are primarily technical, adding that the remaining 10 percent are related to the binding legal agreement, which defines conflict resolution mechanisms in case of disagreement.



Hamas’ Armed Wing Says Israeli Airstrike Killed Two Hostages in Rafah

12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
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Hamas’ Armed Wing Says Israeli Airstrike Killed Two Hostages in Rafah

12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)

Hamas' armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said on Friday that two Israeli hostages held in Gaza were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah a few days ago.

The group, in a video posted on its Telegram channel, did not release the names of those said to have been killed or provide any evidence.

The Israeli government "does not want your hostages to return, except in coffins," the al-Qassam Brigades statement said.

Israel rescued four hostages held by Hamas in a hostage-freeing operation in central Gaza's al-Nuseirat on June 8. The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said more than 250 Palestinians were killed in the raid.

The war in Gaza erupted when Hamas fighters stormed southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel has responded with a military assault on the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza health ministry. Israel says its campaign is intended to eliminate Hamas as a threat and free the remaining hostages.