The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, June 26 2020. Picture: MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, June 26 2020. Picture: MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES

Khartoum  —  Sudan's prime minister has written to the AU, the UN, the EU, and the US  to formally request their mediation on the Nile water being used to fill Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the Sudanese foreign ministry said on Monday.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok expressed concern over Ethiopia's stated intention of adding more water to the reservoir behind the hydropower dam for a second year in letters sent on Saturday, the statement added.

Hamdok's comments come after his return from Cairo on Friday, about 10 days after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s visit to Khartoum, reports said.

Sudan had already floated the idea of the four-party mediation with Egyptian support after an AU-led mediation effort stalled.

Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt have been locked  in inconclusive talks over the filling and operation of the hydropower dam for at least a decade. Egypt and Sudan lie downstream from the dam, which Ethiopia says is crucial to its economic development.

Reports said last year that AU-led talks had resumed in October 2020 after Ethiopia summoned the US ambassador over what it called an “incitement of war” between Ethiopia and Egypt by then US president Donald Trump over the dam dispute. Trump had called for an agreement between the countries, but said it was a dangerous situation and that Cairo could end up “blowing up that dam”.

Sudan's irrigation ministry said at the time talks they would discuss a new model for talks giving “a bigger role to experts and observers”.

Egypt, which gets more than 90% of its scarce fresh water from the Nile and fears the dam could devastate its economy, left the negotiations in August after Ethiopia proposed a new timeline for filling the dam.

Ethiopian legislators have said  that “no force on earth” would stop the completion of the dam and that they were ready to defend it from internal as well as external attacks.


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