Sudan’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Yasser Abbas said, on Monday, that his country is in the process of addressing the UN Security Council regarding Ethiopia’s unilateral measures on its controversial dam.
Speaking at a press conference, the minister also stressed that “the second filling of the [Grand Ethiopian] Renaissance Dam (GERD) has a direct impact on Sudan”.
He also said that Sudan is the most affected country by the GERD project, adding that the information reaching Khartoum confirms that Ethiopia is proceeding with the process of the dam’s second filling.
The minister said that this filling poses a threat to the water security of his country.
Abbas said, “Since the Kinshasa negotiations, there is nothing new in the negotiation process regarding the second filling due to Ethiopia’s intransigence.”
He stressed that the method of negotiating the dam must be changed by strengthening the role of the African Union (AU) and weighty organisations.
The minister added, “We do not want the Nile Dam file to leave the African Union, but Sudan has no objection to reconsidering the water sharing provided that it is outside the framework of the Dam negotiations.”
Abbas highlighted Khartoum’s openness to a temporary partial agreement regarding the Dam, but with specific conditions.
He revealed that Khartoum had just rejected Ethiopia’s proposal that does not include a binding agreement on filling and operating the dam.
The minister also stressed that Addis Ababa “sets impossible conditions so as not to reach an agreement”.
Abbas added that the conditions include the signing of all that has already been agreed upon in the negotiations between the three countries involved in GERD negotiations, namely Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt.
This includes clauses to ensure the continuation of talks even after the dam’s filling in July, with the conditions including a commitment to negotiate according to a timetable.
Abbas added that the meeting of Arab foreign ministers on Tuesday to discuss the second filling will take place to discuss the mechanism of rejecting the Ethiopian intransigence. The meeting will also focus on Ethiopia’s insistence on not reaching an agreement that guarantees the rights of the three countries.
In an exclusive interview with the Middle East News Agency (MENA) on Monday, Russia’s Ambassador to Cairo Georgiy Borisenko said that the situation around GERD is now at the top of the African agenda.
He highlighted that Moscow has repeatedly reiterated its calls to all parties to continue negotiations and find a solution acceptable to them all. These negotiations would take place under the auspices of the AU, in accordance with the slogan “African solutions to the problems of the continent”.
Borisenko said that Moscow stressed the need for the three parties to find a way to exploit water resources without harming the interests of any party.
The ambassador referred to Russia’s proposal to provide technical assistance to Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to coordinate the filling and operation of the dam. This would, for example, take place through the use of advanced satellite technologies, and to benefit from Russia’s experience building dams around the world.