Home | News    Tuesday 14 July 2020

Sudan sends its report ahead of mini African summit on GERD filling

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Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam is seen as it undergoes construction work on the Blue Nile in Guba Woreda, Ethiopia on 26 Spet 2019 (Reuters photo)July 14, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan on Tuesday sent to the African Union presidency its final report on the filling and operation the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and joined a draft agreement to resolve the dispute after the failure of the negotiations between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia.

On Monday, July 13, the three countries concluded the African Union-sponsored talks, which lasted for 11 days without reaching an agreement on the outstanding points. However, it was agreed that each country will submit its final report on the negotiations Tuesday to South Africa which is the current chair of the African Union ahead of a mini-African summit.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Ministry of Irrigation in Khartoum confirmed that Sudan sent its final report to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who is also African Union chairman on the Renaissance Dam after the end of the negotiations that started on the 3rd July.

"Sudan has also attached to his report a draft balanced and fair agreement that can serve as the basis for a comprehensive and acceptable agreement between the three countries," said the Sudanese Irrigation Ministry.

Ramaphosa is expected to convene a mini-African summit including heads of state and government of the African Union Bureau and the three riparian countries to consider the next step towards a comprehensive agreement that satisfies the aspirations of the three countries.

Sources close to the talks indicated that the absence of an agreement between the three parties may push the AU presidency to establish joint mediation with other observers from the European Union and the United States, which would draft an agreement to be discussed at the mini-summit.

The joint meeting is supposed to be held within a week from the date of reporting, Tuesday.

The absence of a negotiated agreement on the GERD filling and operation would open the door to the involvement of the Security Council and the international community in the conflict, which is something that the parties seek to avoid.

Ethiopia condemned Egypt’s decision to refer the dispute to the Security Council last June, saying the dispute constitutes a threat to international peace and security.

During a series of meetings from 9 to 17 June in a Khartoum-hosted process, the three countries agreed on about 95% of the technical issues related to the filling process.

However, Ethiopia failed to agree with Sudan and Egypt on the legally binding character of the agreement.

Also, Addis Ababa and Cairo diverge one the drought and prolonged drought mitigation measures, as Egypt wants guarantees that Ethiopian will ensure its needs during this period.

For Sudan, the dispute with Ethiopia is on the safety measures for its dams on the Blue Nile particularly the Roseires dam whose reservoir is located 100 km from the dam.

Ethiopia initially wanted to release 400 mm3 per day of water while Sudan demanded 200mm3 per day pointing that the reservoir of the Roseires is very small compared to the GERD (1 to 10).

During the last round of talks, Ethiopian proposed 350 mm3 while Sudan said it can manage 250 mm3 maximum.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.


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