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Three Nile countries continue discussions on filing of Ethiopian dam


The Grand Renaissance Dam is under construction on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia. (Photo AFP/William Lloyd-George)
June 10, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt on Wednesday discussed via teleconference filing of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) but no agreement has yet been reached on a mechanism for the long term operation.

While Sudan seeks to ensure a coordination mechanism on the filing process to avoid any negative impact when the water is released from the GERD, Egypt and Ethiopia diverge on the amount of water released annually to ensure Egypt’s needs.

In a statement released after the first technical meeting, the Sudanese irrigation ministry said that the parties discussed the annual releases for Egypt.

It further stated that Cairo stuck to the 21 February document which is a compromise proposed by the U.S. Treasury Department to narrow the gaps between two countries.

The storage capacity of GERD’s reservoir is about 74 billion cubic meters (bcm) of water, while the average flow of the Blue Nile is 49 bcm a year.

Ethiopia plans to impound 4.9 bcm in the first year of filling 13.5 bcm in the second year, but starting from the third year Addis Ababa says it would release a minimum of 31 bcm per year.

But Egypt rejects this proposal demanding at least 40 bcm starting from the third year. On 21 February, Washington filed a compromise providing that 37 bcm should be released every year to Egypt, but Addis declined it.

The Sudanese irrigation ministry said in its statement that Khartoum presented a proposal to the two parties on Tuesday 9 June without giving the details.

Also, it was reported that Ababa made a new proposal at the end of the meeting. It will be discussed on Thursday.

Last month, Ethiopia proposed to sign a separate agreement with Sudan on the coordination mechanism and GERD’s operation in drought, and prolonged periods of dry years but Khartoum declined the offer, calling for a tripartite agreement.


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  • 11 June 2020 11:58, by Jebel Dinka

    When are we discussing our water share with Sudan? I heard some lowly thugs agreed to allow Egypt build a military base in South Sudan forgetting we will soon run into disagreement with Egypt when we will start building our dam.

    • 12 June 2020 04:04, by Paul

      @Jebel Dinka: You are right on! It is imperative South Sudan build a strong military might, bolster the system of governance, and encourage a strong foreign relations with countries that matter when it is time for dispute with Egypt over the Nile Water. These are issues significant to National Security & future of South Sudan. Are Riek & Kiir up for this or is all about Nuer and Dinka?

      • 12 June 2020 17:11, by Jebel Dinka

        @paul, Nuer vs dinka and SPLM/IO vs SPLM/IG as usual. They seem to prioritize That Dog fight more than anything else

      • 12 June 2020 17:12, by Jebel Dinka

        @paul, Nuer vs dinka and SPLM IO vs SPLM IG as usual. They seem to prioritize That Dog fight more than anything else

  • 11 June 2020 12:14, by Angelo Achuil

    Egypt needs come to terms with its 1959 pact error because of its non-recognizant of other nations’ interest except that all boils down to the interest of Egypt, it’s inconceivable to be a negotiating position. The very God who made the Nile pass in Egypt is the one who made it pass in Uganda, S. Sudan, Etiopia, Sudan. You need give people some slacks and be glad your interest is considered.

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