Sudanese Min. calls for agreement on GERD to avoid possible risks

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Wed, 24 Jun 2020 - 02:31 GMT

FILE - Water flows through Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

FILE - Water flows through Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

CAIRO – 24 June 2020: The potential positive effects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on Sudan can turn into risks if no agreement on filling and operating the dam was reached, Minister of Water Resources Yasser Abbas said Tuesday.

The minister referred to possible danger as a result of insecure filling of Sudanese reservoirs, in the event of lack of coordination or data exchange with the Ethiopian side.

Abbas said the dam can be an initiative for regional cooperation between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, as Ethiopia can provide electricity, Sudan can provide food through making use of agricultural lands and Egypt can provide industrial investment.

On June 19, Egypt called the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to intervene in the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue, asserting the importance of continuing the negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in order to reach a fair and just solution for all three countries.

Egypt stressed the need to prevent any unilateral measures that might affect the chances of reaching a balanced agreement.

Egypt's request to the Security Council was based on Article 35 of the United Nations Charter, which allows member states to alert the council to any update that might threaten the international peace and security.

This came a day after the Egyptian water resources minister said talks to resolve differences on filling and operating the dam were concluded, after failing to persuade Ethiopia to refer the issue to the prime ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan as a last chance to reach an agreement

“Egypt wants the United Nations Security Council to undertake its responsibilities and prevent Ethiopia from starting to fill its massive, newly built hydroelectric dam on the Nile River in July amid a breakdown in negotiations,” Egyptian Foreign Ministry Sameh Shoukry told AP.

"The responsibility of the Security Council is to address a pertinent threat to international peace and security, and certainly the unilateral actions by Ethiopia in this regard would constitute such a threat," the minister clarified.

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