Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to agree Nile dam deal in weeks

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Leaders of Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt said they were hopeful that the African Union could help them broker a deal to end a decade-long dispute over water supplies within two or three weeks.

Ethiopia, which is building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which worries its downstream neighbours Egypt and Sudan, said it would fill the reservoir in a few weeks, as planned, providing enough time for talks to be concluded.

Tortuous negotiations over the years have left the two nations and their neighbour Sudan short of an agreement to regulate how Ethiopia will operate the dam and fill its reservoir, while protecting Egypt's scarce water supplies from the Nile river.

Ethiopia's water minister, Seleshi Bekele, said that consensus had been reached to finalise a deal within two to three weeks, a day after leaders from the three countries and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who chairs the African Union, held an online summit.

Billene Seyoum, a spokeswoman for Ethiopia's prime minister, said that in Friday's agreement there was "no divergence from Ethiopia's original position of filling the dam."

The Egyptian presidency said in a statement after the summit that Ethiopia will not fill the dam unilaterally.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is being built about 15 km (9 miles) from the border with Sudan on the Blue Nile, the source of most of the Nile's waters.

Ethiopia says the $4 billion hydropower project, which will have an installed capacity of 6,450 megawatts, is essential to its economic development.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister's Office said that the three countries agreed that the Nile and the Grand Renaissance Dam "are African issues that must be given African solutions."

Friday's round of talks brokered by the African Union, is the latest attempt to move forward negotiations which have repeatedly stalled due to technical and political disagreements. They also signal an intention to solve the issue without foreign intervention.

Ethiopia's statement said the African Union, and not the U.N. Security Council, will assist the countries in the negotiations and provide technical support.

Cairo had appealed to the Council in a last-ditch diplomatic move aimed at stopping Ethiopia from filling the dam. The Council was expected to hold a public meeting on Monday to discuss the issue.

(Reporting by Giulia Paravicini, Additional reporting by Aidan Lewis in Cairo, editing by Louise Heavens)


More Related News

'Aggressive action' needed as Africa coronavirus cases pass 1m
  • World
  • 2020-08-07 07:51:42Z

South Africa has more than half of all Covid-19 cases, while Tanzania's lack of data is a "concern".

Floods affect more than 50,000 in Sudan: UN
Floods affect more than 50,000 in Sudan: UN
  • World
  • 2020-08-05 17:20:23Z

More than 50,000 people have been affected by flooding across Sudan over the past week, the United Nations said Wednesday. "Torrential rains continued in several parts of Sudan... leading to flooding, landslides, damages to houses and infrastructure in at least 14 of the (country's) 18 states," the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. "More than 50,000 people have been affected," it said in a statement.

Ahly set for glory as Egypt restart strongest African league
Ahly set for glory as Egypt restart strongest African league

Club football returns on Thursday to Egypt, the home of African giants Al Ahly and Zamalek, after being suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ahly have won a record 19 and Zamalek 11 of the 34 Confederation of African Football (CAF) trophies lifted by Egyptian clubs, making the country the most successful in the continent. The Egypt Premier League is the third major African championship to restart after the Moroccan Botola Pro 1 on July 27 and the Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 on August 1.

Egypt, Sudan suspend talks with Ethiopia over disputed dam
Egypt, Sudan suspend talks with Ethiopia over disputed dam
  • World
  • 2020-08-05 09:57:46Z

Egypt and Sudan suspended talks with Ethiopia after it proposed linking a deal on its newly constructed reservoir and giant hydroelectric dam to a broader agreement about the Blue Nile waters that would replace a colonial-era accord with Britain. The African Union-led talks among the three key Nile basin countries are trying to resolve a years-long dispute over Ethiopia's construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Tennis