Sudanese Minister Warn Against Escalation Between Egypt, Ethiopia Over Nile Dam

Sudanese government on Sunday warned against escalation between Egypt and Ethiopia over the controversial Nile dam and urged for further negotiations, reported Ahram Online.

The three countries are still struggling to reach a final deal over the $4.6bn Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam after recent talks failed to produce desired outcome on the filling and operation of the hydroelectric dam.

The dam, once completed, would be the most powerful hydroelectric dam in Africa. But Egypt sees the project as a potentially existential threat as it is likely to reduce its access to water unless there’s an agreement on the period over which the dam is filled.

“We do not want escalation. Negotiations are the only solution,” the Sudanese irrigation and water resources minister, Yasser Abbas, told reporters on Sunday.

The Sudanese minister said signing an agreement is a prerequisite before filling of the dam.

Last week, Ethiopia announced that it would begin filling the dam’s reservoir in July even after the latest round of talks with Egypt and Sudan failed recently to reach a deal governing how the dam will be filled and operated.

Egypt, then, went out to appeal to the United Nations Security Council to intervene in the matter to restart negotiation talks. The Egyptian government called out the UN body to intervene to emphasize the importance that three countries continue negotiations in good faith.

But, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, Gedu Andargachew said the government has rejected Egypt’s call to refer the dispute over the construction of the giant Nile dam to the UNSC.

“The issue with the dam can be solved right here instead of taking it to the UN Security Council,” Andargachew told the Associated Press on Friday. “We believe this is not the mandate of the Security Council. This project is a developmental project.”

He said the UN body’s interference in the matter could be considered as interfering in a sovereign nation’s peaceful activity.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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