Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdouk
CAIRO - 13 June 2020: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdouk has stressed the need to reach a binding legal agreement about the filling and operation of Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam.
Hamdouk, in a meeting with chairman of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat Sunday, said this would enable Sudan to go ahead with its development projects and avoid harms that could be caused due to lack of detailed information regarding the filling and operation of the dam.
The meeting also took up the situation in Sudan, with focus on the country's transition to democracy.
Hamdouk posted Mahamat on progress achieved so far in the files of peace and economic development.
The AU commissioner stressed support of the pan-African body for Sudan in its efforts to render the transitional period successful.
He also said the AU is closely following negotiations on the Renaissance Dam and agreed that Sudan would provide the Union with further information about the controversial dam.
Earlier in May, Egypt slammed recent Ethiopian remarks reiterating the unilateral plans to complete the Grand Dam (GERD) filling despite the absence of an agreement with Egypt and Sudan, saying it reveals Ethiopia’s bad intentions and efforts to undermine the ongoing mediation efforts.
The Ethiopian foreign ministry said it plans to start generating power from GERD in the upcoming rainy season between June and August.
The Egyptian ministry said its statement comes in response to Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti’s reiteration that his country will implement the second dam filling even if the three countries do not reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the dam.
The Ethiopian spokesman’s remarks “reveal again Ethiopia’s bad intentions and its endeavor to undermine the ongoing efforts by international and African mediators to resolve the GERD crisis,” the Egyptian ministry said.
Egypt added that the Ethiopian remarks also show the latter’s “desire to impose the fait accompli against the downstream countries, a matter that Egypt did not and will not accept”.
Ethiopia conducted its first filling in July 2020 with 5 billion cubic meters. The total capacity of the reservoir is 74 billion cubic meters to be filled over several years [the years number is still one of the disagreements between the three countries].
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are at loggerheads over the $4-billion dam; Cairo voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters] after Ethiopia started building the dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011.
In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan] should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam.
In March 2021, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi stated, “No one can take a drop of water from Egypt... If it happens, there will be inconceivable instability in the region that no one could imagine. This is not a threat.”
Sudan, as well has warned more than once of filling the GERD before reaching a legal binding agreement.
Ethiopia, on the other side affirms that the second filling will be conducted, despite all negotiations and mediations.