Panafrican News Agency

Ethiopia Renaissance Dam: Sudan calls for postponement of negotiations on filling and operations

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA)- The Sudanese Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources on Monday demanded a postponement, by yet another week, of the tripartite negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and the Sudan on the filling and operations of the huge Ethiopia Renaissance Dam.

Khartoum said it wants more time to engage more people at home in the negotiations related to the dam, Cairo and Khartoum fear might negatively impact  their shares in the Nile waters.

Last week, the talks, sponsored  by the African Union under the chair of South Africa, did not move ahead as Egypt and Sudan said there was foul play by Ethiopia which came up with new elements to the negotiation table well after the three were heading for conclusion.

Sudan which until recently was seen as tilting for the Ethiopian side, said it was not happy with the ongoing process and that it too wants more time to rethink its stands.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources, negotiations on the Filling and Operations of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) resumed on Monday, 10 August, at the invitation of the African Union; in attendance are the experts and observers.

However, the statement added “at the outset of the session, the Sudanese delegation demanded the postponement of the negotiations for one week in order to continue internal consultation its negotiating team has been engaged in.”

The statement, carried by the official news agency, said the Sudanese request submitted by the Sudanese delegation for the postponement of the negotiations, was “spurred by the developments the negotiations have witnessed recently and to the messages exchanged between the parties involved in the negotiations and the need to expand the internal consultations prior to resumption of the negotiations.”

Observers believed the Sudanese postponement requests are ploys to express its frustrations against Addis Ababa, which had started filling the reservoir of the dam well before a binding agreement was reached by the three parties as stipulated in an agreement based on the Declaration of Principles reached by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and outgoing Omar Bashir of Sudan back in 2015.

-0- PANA MO/VAO 10Aug2020