Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia Resumes Negotiation Talks Over Controversial Nile Dam

Sudan’s Irrigation and Water Resources Ministry on Friday confirmed the negotiation talks between Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile River have resumed under the African Union mediation, reported Al Jazeera.

The water ministers from the three involved countries held a virtual meeting online to address the filling and operation issues.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have been at odds after multiple rounds of talks over the years failed to reach an agreement on the operation and filling of the Nile dam.

“The negotiations over the renaissance dam between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan were resumed this afternoon via video conference,” Sudan’s water ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The ministry said the talks were held with the mediation of South Africa, the current chair of the African Union. The talks are aimed to reach consensus on the outstanding points before Addis Ababa takes any further action in the process of filling the dam’s reservoir.

Detailing about the Friday meeting, Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said the three countries did not succeed in reaching an agreement in the meeting as a number of technical and legal points still remain disputed.

Ethiopia began constructing the GERD in 2011. Egypt, the aridest of the Nile states, and water-scarce countries relies on the Nile for more than 90% of its water, fears the dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the water resources and result in a devastating impact on its booming population of 100 million.

Last month, Egypt and Sudan appealed for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to intervene in the matter alleging that millions of lives will be at “great risk” if Ethiopia fills its mega-dam without a deal.

Last week, Addis Ababa agreed to delay filing its dam until a final deal is reached.

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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