Africa

Mauritanian diplomat to lead Sudan, Ethiopia talks

Khartoum, Addis Ababa locked in border dispute, construction of dam on Blue Nile River

Mohammed al-Bakkai   | 18.02.2021
Mauritanian diplomat to lead Sudan, Ethiopia talks

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania 

The African Union assigned Mauritanian diplomat Mohamed El Hacen Ould Lebatt to lead mediation talks between Sudan and Ethiopia regarding a border crisis, Mauritanian media reported Wednesday.  

The Alakhbar news website cited an unnamed source who said Ould Lebatt would start discussions late Wednesday. 

It said that he would pay an urgent visit to Khartoum without giving further details. 

The African Union, Sudan and Ethiopia did not provide details regarding the talks. 

Khartoum and Addis Ababa are locked in a dispute about their borders and the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, or GERD on the Blue Nile River, with Khartoum fearing that filling the dam without an agreement will harm its own dams. 

Ould Lebatt was appointed as foreign minister at the end of the 1990s before becoming ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent representative of Mauritania to the African Union between 2003-2005. The Union named him representative in Kigali, the capital of the Central African Republic, to help restore stability and civil peace. 

Ould Lebatt also led successful negotiations for reconciliation in the Sudanese crisis in 2019 after the army overthrew the regime of Omar al-Bashir.   

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara


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