Three-Way Talks Over Ethiopia’s Nile Dam Fail in Kinshasa

Three-way talks over Ethiopia's Nile dam fail in Kinshasa
FILE PHOTO: Water flows through Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam as it undergoes construction work o...

Sudan and Egypt on Tuesday that the latest round of talks with Ethiopia over the Nile dam in Kinshasa had ended without progress. The delegation from the three countries held a meeting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo amid an attempt to stop the deadlock in talks on the Ethiopian project that it said is the key to economic development and power plants.

Egypt worries the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Grand Ethiopian Dam (GERD) to imperil its water supply, while Sudan is concerned about the dam’s safety and water flowing through its own water stations and dams. Before the meeting began, Egypt said they had represented the last chance to restart negotiations before Ethiopia starts to fill the dam for the second year in a row this summer.

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Foreign Minister of Sudan, Mariam al-Sadig al-Mahdi, told reporters on Tuesday that Ethiopian’s insistence on the unilateral movement represented violations of international law. “This Ethiopian intransigence requires Sudan to consider all possible options to protect their security and citizens,” said the Sudanese Ministry of Irrigation and Water resources in a Statement.

After the Kinshasa meeting, Ethiopia emphasized that filling in the second year of the Dam Reservoir would be carried out as scheduled and expressed his readiness to facilitate data exchange and information about filling, the foreign ministry said in a statement. “Ethiopia cannot make an agreement that seizes its current rights and the future for the use of the Nile,” he added.

Sudanese and Egyptian governments were aligned on proposals to include the European Union, the United States, and the United Nations as mediators and the facilitation of the current African Union facilitation of talks. The two countries said Ethiopia rejected proposals during meetings and other suggestions to restart negotiations.

“This position reveals once again the lack of political will of Ethiopia to negotiations in good faith,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Last week, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said there would be “unimaginable instability in the region” if the dam influenced the Egyptian water supply.

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