Sudan has criticised Egypt’s “reluctance” to implement the 1956 water agreement between the two countries, as well as its refusal to adopt a new agreement for the distribution of the Nile River waters.
The remarks were made during a lecture entitled “The Renaissance Dam and Sustainable Development” delivered yesterday in Wad Madani by Saifuddin Hamad Abdullah, head of the technical staff of water resources at Sudan’s Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation, and Electricity.
Abdullah is also a member of the Sudanese negotiating committee for the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project.
Sudan News Agency SUNA quoted Abdullah as saying; “The dam is outside the earthquake line and the current design of the dam is in line with the specifications put forward by the Sudanese side.”
“Ethiopia had informed Sudan of its intention to construct the Renaissance Dam as early as 2011, before officially announcing it,” he added.
Abdullah added that “Sudan has been reviewing the design plans for the final form of the dam and conducted field visits for a full year, before giving approval for its establishment.”
Ethiopia, he also explained “has implemented all the required changes to ensure the safety of the dam, and noted that the Italian company Salini, which constructed the dam, has established more than 200 dams around the world”.
On 13 November, Egypt announced its freezing of technical negotiations with Sudan and Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam after the failure to reach an agreement on the adoption of a report by a French advisory agency on the dam and Cairo’s fear of a possible negative impact on its share of the Nile waters, the country’s main water source.
On the other side, Addis Ababa has emphasised its determination not to jeopardise the shares of Egypt and Sudan of the Nile waters, while adhering to its right to construct the dam on its territory for development purposes. It also expressed its willingness to negotiate with Egypt on any controversial issues.
Recent years have witnessed tensions in the relations between Egypt and Sudan, and even media spats against the backdrop of several controversial issues, the most important of which is the dispute over the border triangle in Hala’ib and Shalateen.