A new stumble .. Will Sudan miss the latest negotiations?


Source: Dubai – Arabia.net

With the differences between The three countriesOn the issue of the Renaissance Dam, a new round of negotiations between Egypt and Sudan is expected to be completed on MondayEthiopia.

In the context, reliable sources told Al-Arabiya, that Sudan decided not to participate in the round of “completing the dam negotiations”, which was scheduled to take place today on the fourteenth of September via video technology, according to a previous statement by Ethiopia.

This comes after the three countries sent separate drafts to the Presidency of the African Union about the stumbling of the last negotiating round and the reasons for not being able to agree, at a time when the African Union responded to the necessity of dialogue and negotiation between the three countries until an agreement is reached.

According to the sources, Sudan sees the necessity of a political solution after the parties retreat from some of what they had previously agreed upon.

The Union, which sponsors the negotiations, had earlier asked the three countries to submit a draft on the most prominent differences and consensus that had occurred recently, provided that the dialogue between the countries concerned with this thorny file would be completed.

And at the beginning of this month, it announced United State Officially, it has suspended part of its financial aid to Ethiopia in response to the decision to start filling the dam before reaching an agreement with Egypt and Sudan regarding this huge hydroelectric project that it is building on the Blue Nile.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile on July 21
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile on July 21

‘Growing concern’

It is noteworthy that the Renaissance Dam, which Addis Ababa began building in 2011, will become the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa upon completion, with a production capacity of six thousand megawatts.

But this vital project for Ethiopia, which was built at a height of 145 meters, raises severe tensions between it and both Sudan and Egypt, which share the waters of the Nile with Ethiopia and fear that the dam will limit the amount of water that reaches them.

Since 2011, the three countries have been negotiating to reach an agreement on filling and operating the dam, but despite these years, they have failed to reach an agreement.

Grand Renaissance Dam (France Press)
Grand Renaissance Dam (France Press)

Vital importance

While Ethiopia considers the electricity expected to be generated from the Renaissance Dam of vital importance in order to advance development projects in the impoverished country with a population of more than 100 million people, Sudan and Egypt fear that this dam threatens the flow of the Nile water, most of which originates from the Blue Nile where it was built, Its repercussions could be devastating on their economy and their water and food resources, especially for Egypt, where the Nile supplies 97 percent of its water needs.

Ethiopia had previously expressed reservations about the interference of other parties in the conflict, especially after an attempt to mediate by the United States, at the request of Egypt, which ended in failure in February, and Addis Ababa at the time accused Washington of being biased towards Cairo.

From Khartoum ... a fishing boat in the Nile River (Archives - France Press)
From Khartoum … a fishing boat in the Nile River (Archives – France Press)

Egypt and Sudan also stress “the necessity of reaching a binding agreement that guarantees the rights and interests of the three countries in accordance with the Declaration of Principles Agreement signed in 2015 and the principles of international law, provided that it guarantees an effective and binding mechanism for settling disputes.”

It is noteworthy that Addis Ababa carried out this year the first phase of filling the dam’s reservoir, with the aim of the first two turbines, which is a crucial step to start producing energy.

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