Africa

Sudan looks for 'alternatives' as Nile Dam talks stall

‘Sudan does not accept fait accompli policy that threatens safety of 20M Sudanese citizens,’ Premier Hamdok says

Adel Abdurahim and Talal Ismail   | 18.01.2021
Sudan looks for 'alternatives' as Nile Dam talks stall

KHARTOUM, Sudan 

Sudan on Monday said it is looking for alternative options after negotiations with Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam stalled.

This came after Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok chaired a meeting of the Supreme Committee on the Renaissance Dam. The country’s ministers, chief of the General Intelligence Service and head of the Military Intelligence Authority also attended the meeting.

A statement by the government said the meeting discussed "alternative options due to the stalled tripartite negotiations that took place during the past six months," without specifying them.

The meeting also discussed the impact of the Ethiopian dam on "the safety and operation of the Roseires Dam - a Sudanese dam on the Blue Nile and close to the Renaissance Dam - and other water facilities in the country."

"Sudan does not accept imposition of a fait accompli policy that threatens the safety of 20 million Sudanese citizens whose lives depend on the Blue Nile," it stressed.

It was not possible to obtain a comment from Egypt, Ethiopia and the African Union which sponsored the recent trilateral negotiations, regarding the Sudanese statement.

Two weeks ago, a meeting kicked off in Sudan between the irrigation and foreign ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to discuss issues related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

According to Anadolu Agency correspondent in Sudan, the meeting which was virtually convened tackled the rules and regulations for filling and operating the $5 billion dam.

At that time, Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasir Abbas held a virtual meeting with experts from the African Union on the dam's filling.

The three countries - Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia - have been engaging in talks for nine years which witnessed reciprocal accusations between Egypt and Ethiopia of attempting to impose unrealistic solutions.

Egypt has been opposing the dam since its construction began in 2011, saying the hydro scheme would reduce the flow of water downstream. Ethiopia maintains the dam would be vital to addressing the country's acute shortage in electricity, the country needs for domestic and industrial use.

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara



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