Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan have agreed that Ethiopia will not start filling the controversial Nile dam without reaching an agreement within the next two weeks, the Egyptian and Sudanese governments said on Friday, reported Reuters.
Tension between the three countries has been escalating over the $4.6bn Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Ethiopia had vowed to start filling at the start of the rainy season in July.
“Consensus reached to finalize the #GERD agreement within 2 to 3 weeks,” Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy said in a tweet.
The tweet followed an online summit attended by leaders from the three countries and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who chairs the African Union.
Last week, both Egypt and Sudan had appealed to the UN Security Council to intervene in the Nile dam dispute.
“A legally binding final agreement for all parties stressing the prevention of any unilateral moves, including the filling of the dam, will be sent in a letter to the UN Security Council to consider it in its session discussing the Renaissance Dam issue next Monday,” the office of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said on Friday.
In a statement, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said the leaders from the three countries have agreed that the Nile dam filling will be delayed until an agreement is reached. The technical committees for all three countries are expected to begin negotiation talks with the aim of reaching a deal within two weeks.
Hamdok said Sudan is urging Egypt and Ethiopia to the impending necessity of finding a solution to the Nile dam issue.
Ethiopia claims that the $4 billion hydropower project, which will have an installed capacity of 6,450 megawatts, will help bring millions out of poverty.
Egypt, which relies on the Nile for 97 percent of its freshwater needs, fear that the dam cut could its water supply and have a devastating impact on its population.