The Sudanese authorities have assured that both the European Union (EU) and the United States have conveyed to Khartoum their willingness to mediate in the negotiations with Egypt and Ethiopia on the dam being built by Addis Ababa on the Blue Nile River, despite the refusal expressed by the Ethiopian government on this possibility.
The Sovereign Council of Sudan has stressed after a meeting between its president, Abdelfatá al Burhan, and the envoys of the United States and the EU, Donald Booth and Robert van den Dool, respectively, that Washington and Brussels have opted for a “negotiated solution”.
“They have stressed the need to reach a negotiated solution to the dam dispute in a way that satisfies all three parties,” he said in a statement, as reported by Sudanese news portal Sudan Tribune.
Sudan last week called on Ethiopia to accept its proposal for a UN, EU, African Union (AU) and U.S. measurement of the dam, but Addis Ababa later stressed that the process should continue to be led by the AU, currently chaired by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Khartoum’s proposal, backed by Egypt, was rejected by Ethiopia, which argues that the countries “can resolve the problem through dialogue using existing mechanisms”, which means setting aside the possibility of including new mediators in the dispute.
The governments of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan reached a preliminary agreement in January 2020 on the main points of dispute over the construction of the dam and pledged to sign the final document by the end of February, although Addis Ababa walked out of the talks before signing the agreement, but only Cairo did.
The reason of Ethiopia’s walked out from the agreement is U.S. “characterization that the negotiation on the Guidelines and Rules on the First Filing and Annual Operation of the GERD (Guidelines and Rules) is completed.” And Ethiopia said the text of the draft agreement reportedly initialed by Egypt was “not the outcome of the negotiation”
Ethiopia, which is single-handedly financing the project and hopes to become the continent’s largest generator and exporter of electricity, rejects these accusations. Work is being carried out in the Benishangul-Gumaz region and, when completed, the dam will be the largest on the continent.
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