Tuesday 04 May 2021
I wrote – Rana Osama:
Addis Ababa renewed its intransigent adherence to the leadership of the African Union in the negotiations of the Renaissance Dam, rejecting Sudan’s statements regarding the subordination of the “Benishangul” region on which the dam is built, describing it as “unacceptable.”
Khartoum had hinted at a review of Ethiopias sovereignty over the “Benishangul Gumuz” region on which the Renaissance Dam is built, accusing Addis Ababa of trying to disavow international treaties on the waters of the Nile and demarcating the borders between the two countries, especially the 1902 agreement, which obligated it not to establish any works on the Nile. Azraq also demarcated the border between the two countries and gave Ethiopia the land of Benishangul.
In a statement, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry said that disavowal of previous agreements also means that Ethiopia relinquishes its sovereignty over the Benishangul region (the site of the Renaissance Dam), which moved to it from Sudan in 1902, according to the agreement that Ethiopia considers “colonial.”
In his weekly press conference in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ambassador Dina Mufti, said Tuesday: “The hostile Sudanese statements are continuing. Sudan has not only attacked Ethiopian lands, but has moved to claim that the Renaissance Dam region is affiliated,” in an attempt to claim that Sudan is the aggressor in the dispute. The border between the two countries.
And he considered that Sudan’s statements regarding the subordination of the Benishangul Gumuz region “is a shameful matter and we completely reject it and we will issue a detailed statement about it,” and he claimed that it comes within the framework of pressure on Ethiopia regarding the Renaissance Dam – as he put it.
He added that his country will continue to adhere to the leadership of the African Union in the negotiations of the Renaissance Dam, and “will not accept Sudan’s moves to link the border issue to this file.”
The Benishangul region is located in the west of the country, and Addis Ababa agreed to establish the Renaissance Dam project on the Blue Nile, about 40 kilometers from the Sudanese border.
It is inhabited by nearly 4 million people, most of whom are of Sudanese origin, and more than half of them are Muslims. Their traditions are still Sudanese, despite Ethiopias attempts to push for demographic change policies, and the region’s area is about 50 thousand square kilometers.
The “Bani Shanqul” tribes are considered the most populous tribes in the region, which was named after them according to the Ethiopian Federal Constitution, which stipulates that the regions are called the largest ethnic group in them.
The Ethiopian statements coincide with a tour by the US envoy to the Horn of Africa in Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia to discuss a peaceful settlement of the crisis.
The American envoy’s tour comes days after the Egyptian ambassador to Washington called on the United States to intervene to save the stalled negotiations, at a time when Ethiopia announced that the construction of the dam would soon be completed and renewed its intention to start the second mobilization as planned next July, despite the Egyptian-Sudanese rejection and the lack of access For a binding legal agreement that guarantees the interests of the downstream countries.