Ethiopia, Sudan Vow To Resolve Ongoing Blue Nile Dam Dispute Over Water Supplies

Ethiopia and Sudan have vowed to come to a deal on the giant hydropower Nile dam that has caused a dispute between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan over water supplies, reported Al Jazeera.

On Tuesday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited the Sudanese capital Khartoum in the latest effort by the African nations to reach an agreement over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

“The two sides emphasised they would make every possible effort to reach a successful conclusion to the current tripartite negotiations,” Ethiopia and Sudan said in a joint statement.

The statement added that the talks between the three countries should lead to a formula that makes the dam a tool for regional integration.

The two nations also lauded the African Union for its mediation in the matter, calling it a move that embodied “African solutions for African problems”.

The three nations had agreed to present draft proposals over the management of the hydroelectric dam earlier this month.

Ethiopia had begun construction of the $4bn GERD project in 2011. In July, the country completed the first stage of the filling of the dam’s 74 billion cubic-metre (19.5 trillion gallons) reservoir.

Negotiations between the three countries have previously failed over Egypt and Sudan’s demand for a legally binding deal over the mechanism for resolving future disputes, and over how to manage the dam during periods of drought or reduced rainfall.

The two downstream nations, Egypt and Sudan, have repeatedly insisted Ethiopia must not start filling the reservoir without reaching a deal first.

Ethiopia claims that the GERD project offers a critical opportunity to pull millions of citizens out of poverty and become a significant power exporter.

For Egypt, which depends on the Nile River for its 90% of fresh water requirements, the dam poses an existential threat.

Sudan, which is geographically located between the two regional powerhouses, claims that the project could endanger its own dams.

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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