Ethiopia’s insistence on 2nd GERD filling means persistence in position: Sudan

Sarah El-Sheikh
3 Min Read

Mostafa Hussein Al-Zubair, head of the Sudanese technical negotiating team on the huge Ethiopian dam, said that Ethiopia’s insistence on a second filling in July without reaching an agreement means it persists in its position.

Al-Zubair noted that Ethiopia’s continued remarks that it will continue with the filling is in violation of international law regarding the use of transient water sources. 

According to Sudan’s SUNA news agency, on Thursday, Al-Zubair called on neighbouring Ethiopia to appeal to the voice of reason and respect international laws regarding transboundary waters.

He added that Ethiopia should also adhere to the principle of fair and reasonable use of water, without causing significant harm to the riparian states. This would see it additionally cooperate in exchanging information and negotiating in good faith to reach a legal agreement binding on all parties.

Al-Zubair added that Ethiopia’s unilateral filling of the second filling poses a direct threat to the lives of 20 million Sudanese citizens living on the banks of the Blue Nile and the Main River Nile.

This unilateral act also creates serious risks to Sudan’s vital installations of dams, infrastructure, and existing agricultural and industrial activities, he said, whilst stressing that Sudan is able to protect its national security, its resources, and the integrity of its infrastructure.

Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy Sileshi Bekele attended a symposium on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on Friday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. During the meeting, Bekele said that 79% of the dam’s overall construction has been completed so far.

Ethiopia is proceeding with the second filling of its controversial dam on Nile River, and will not extend the waiting period for any reason, Bekele added.

The symposium’s objective was to explore the current status of the dam and the ongoing trilateral negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan.

Bekele said that his country “negotiates for the equitable share and reasonable utilisation of the Nile River without causing significant harm on the downstream countries”.

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