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Sudan skips meeting after accepting AU proposed document on GERD

On Sunday Sudan has accepted AU proposed document which was meant to used as an input for the trilateral agreement

Jan 5th 2021 · 1 min read

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy announced on Monday that the tripartite meeting scheduled to take place was not held. 

The reason, according to the Ministry, is that delegation from the government of Sudan did not show up at the meeting. It was a ministerial meeting between the water ministers from the three countries (Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt).

Ethiopia was the chair of this particular meeting. African Union assigned experts, observers and the Egyptian delegation were present for the meeting.  It was intended “to take stock of agreed and outstanding issues,” as described by the ministry.  

The ministry did not specify why Sudan failed to attend it. 

African Union assigned experts drafted a document as an input to the trilateral negotiation was accepted by Sudan and Ethiopia, did so with a reservation which was communicated to the African Union, while Egypt declined to accept it. 

“Ethiopia pronounced its positive outlook towards the draft document and expressed its willingness to use it as a single work document for the trilateral negotiation,” the ministry announced on Sunday. 

Water Ministers from the three countries held a virtual meeting on Sunday with the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, and Chairperson of AU Executive Council as a convenor.  

The negotiation on GERD has been going on for several years now. First phase of water filling and operation of the dam used to be a point of divergence in the past but that does not seem to be the case, according to the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy.  

Ethiopia completed the first phase of the filling, which retained about 4.9 billion cubic meters of water, during weeks of heavy rain in July 2020. 

Based on information from the Ministry, main difference between the three countries “lies on the co-relations between the GERD Guidelines and Rules and the future water development projects on the Abbay Basin.”  

When completed, GERD is expected to generate over 6,000 MW of power which Ethiopia intends to use for the manufacturing sector, for households and export. More than 65 percent of Ethiopians do not have access to electric power. 

Meanwhile, Sudan continues to occupy Ethiopian territories as Ethiopia is determined to resolve the matter diplomatically.

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last updated: 2021-01-05@18:01