Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan hold dispute over Blue Nile dam


Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have today made no progress in talks, led by the African Union (AU), to resolve the dispute over the controversial dam that Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile, the three countries said.

The foreign and water ministers of the three countries met online for the second time in a week to try to find an agreed approach to resume talks focused on filling and running the Great Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia.

At today’s meeting, held by videoconference, the three countries were unable to find common ground for further progress, “due to differences over how to resume talks and the procedural aspects related to the negotiation,” the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. .

Cairo and Addis Ababa rejected Sudan’s proposal, said the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said that Sudan rejected a proposal by South Africa to meet separately with AU experts, insisting on increasing the role of experts first.

Sudanese Minister of Irrigation, Yasser Abbas, said that his government insists on maximizing the role of AU experts, so that they facilitate negotiations and close the gaps between the three countries, according to the SUNA news agency, managed by Sudanese state.

In November, Sudan boycotted the talks, called by South Africa, which currently holds the rotating AU presidency, and argued that the negotiating approach to resolving the dispute proved to be fruitless.

The key issues in the negotiations remain the amount of water that Ethiopia will release downstream, if a drought occurs for several years, and how the three countries will resolve any future disputes. Egypt and Sudan call for a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam, while Ethiopia insists on guidelines.

Ethiopia is building the dam on the Blue Nile, which joins the White Nile in Sudan to form the Nile River, and about 85% of the river’s flow comes from Ethiopia. Authorities hope that the dam, now more than three-quarters complete, will reach full power generating capacity by 2023, helping lift millions of people out of poverty.

Egypt, the most populous country in the Arab world, with over 100 million inhabitants, considers the dam an existential threat and fears it will reduce its share of water in the Nile. The country depends almost entirely on the Nile to provide water for agriculture and its people.

Sudan, between Ethiopia and Egypt, warns that the dam would affect its own dams, although the country could benefit from access to possible cheap electricity.


Source: Renascença – Noticias by rr.sapo.pt.

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