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African Union’s Tshisekedi calls for technical mechanism to end GERD issue

April 4, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi called on Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia to agree on a technical mechanism paving the way for a final settlement on the filing and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Félix Tshisekedi DRC President speaks in a meeting on the GERD issues on 4 April 2021 (ACP photo)Ministerial delegations from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan Sunday have resumed meetings in the DRC capital Kinshasa on the GERD issue, after separate meetings with the three countries and the Congolese mediation team.

Khartoum, which had suspended its participation in the discussions, now calls for an international quadripartite mediation led by the African Union as the direct talks process failed to produce an agreement after 9 years of talks.

President Tshisekedi expressed hope that the two-day meeting in Kinshasa offers the opportunity for a deal on the "outstanding technical and legal questions" paving the way to a complete and final settlement, reported the official L’Agence Congolaise de Presse (ACP) on Sunday.

He underscored that this roadmap should be based on the Declaration of Principles of 2015 " as a constructive basis for all technical and legal developments".

Also, he stressed to resume talks from where the parties have stopped during the past year and not to come out with new proposals for a new process.

"We must consolidate the achievements of this draft agreement, overcome the pitfalls and move forward," Tshisekedi stressed after referring to what has been achieved during the past year under the mandate of the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The delegations of the three countries are led by foreign ministers. Also, representatives of the United States and the European Union are taking part in the meeting.

After a two-hour meeting, the three delegations will meet again on Monday.

Besides, the Sudanese proposal for a four-way mediation, Cairo and Khartoum say they want a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the giant dam before launching the phase of the GERD reservoir next July.

(ST)