- Last week it was Egypt, this week is Sudan turn to reject the AU proposal.
Negotiations between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt, in a long-running dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile, have reached a new impasse, after Sudan reject the proposal of AU designated experts.
Last week, the three countries had agreed to hold further talks to agree on the filling and operation of the vast reservoir behind the 145-meter tall hydropower Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
But the latest meetings between foreign and water ministers failed to reach an acceptable agreement to resume negotiations, due to Sudanese objections to the framework for the talks for the new impasse.
In a press release, the Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the virtual meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Water Affairs of Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan was held on 10 January 2021.
The meeting is convened by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the AU Executive Council.
The meeting is conducted after the failure of the three countries to continue the trilateral process in the previous week due to the absence of Sudan.
The Ministers exchanged views on the continuation of the trilateral negotiation. The Chairperson of the AU Executive Council to assist progress proposed for the three countries to have a three days bilateral meeting with the AU designated experts to be followed by a trilateral meeting and report the outcome to her office.
While Ethiopia and Egypt agreed with the proposition, Sudan declined to compel the closure of the meeting.
Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said that despite previously insisting on meetings with the African Union experts, Sudan objected to their terms of reference and refused to include the experts in the meeting, effectively halting the talks.
“Sudan insisted on the assigning of African Union experts to offer solutions to contentious issues… a proposal which Egypt has reservations about,” Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement posted to social media.
It is to be recalled that in the previous week, the delegation of Sudan insisted on having bilateral meetings with AU assigned experts rejecting trilateral meetings of the parties.
Yet, on today’s meeting, Sudan refused to have the bilateral meeting with the AU assigned experts as proposed by the AU chair, putting enhancement of the TOR of the experts as a prerequisite, says a statement from Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Ethiopia undertook to cater to the concerns of Sudan on dam safety, data exchange, and other technical issues. In this respect, Ethiopia took the initiative to immediately establish an effective and reciprocal data exchange mechanism.
Following this, the Chairperson of the AU Executive Council will report to the Chairperson of the African Union.
Ethiopia, the second-most populous country in Africa, says the hydroelectric power produced by the dam will be vital to meet the power needs of its 110 million people.
Ethiopia reached its first-year target for filling the dam’s reservoir, which has recently signaled it would proceed with the filling regardless of whether a deal was reached.
who is behind all this flip flopping?
Maybe… US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who hates Ethiopia from his gut…because Ethiopia refused to accept his one-term president proposed rotten deal over the dam. He was in Sudan this week…with a billion-dollar gift bag. Mnuchin in Sudan for 1st senior US trip since terror list removal