Sudan boycotted the tripartite ministerial meeting held on Monday to discuss the disputed issues regarding the Ethiopian Dam. The meeting was held in the presence of water resources ministers from both Egypt and Ethiopia.
In a statement following the meeting, Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said that the participants agreed to raise the matter to the Minister of International Relations of South Africa, the current chair of the African Union (AU).
Sudan’s Ministry of Water Resources clarified, in a separate statement on Monday, that it boycotted the meeting over Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) after it had received no response to its call for a bilateral meeting with the experts and observers of the AU on Sunday.
“Khartoum insists on its steadfast stance to give a greater role to the AU experts to facilitate GERD negotiations and bring views together, in accordance with the principle of the ‘African Solutions to the African Problems’,” read the statement.
Future steps on the course of negotiations should be addressed in the upcoming meeting on 10 January, as agreed on the Sunday meeting with participation of the three involved parties; Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan.
On Sunday, African experts submitted a memorandum of agreement for the three countries. It is hoped that the Ethiopian Dam negotiations will be concluded by the end of this month, and before the end of South Africa’s AU presidency.
For almost a decade, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have been engaged in negotiations on the Nile dam. The principal purpose of the decade-long negotiations was to conclude a treaty, governing both the filling of the GERD reservoir and the operation of the dam.