As part of its efforts to end negotiations on the Ethiopia dam project, Egypt has been working to undermine and remove Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok because he fully adopts the Ethiopian vision, internal sources have said.
Speaking to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, the sources said: “Cairo has the impression that Hamdok’s close ties with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, which dates back to before Abiy took office, made him a manoeuvring tool used by the latter to control the dam file.”
The sources added: “What makes the situation more favourable for Abiy’s endeavour is the ongoing tension and disputes between the Sudanese army and other civil components, since the fall of Al-Bashir’s regime,” in reference to the army’s deposal of Sudan’s long-term dictator earlier last year.
Ethiopia is building a $5 billion dam near its border with Sudan, which it claims will provide the country with much-needed electricity and economic regeneration. Egypt believes that when the dam is filled, already-scarce water supplies from the Nile will be restricted.
Egypt is almost entirely dependent on Nile water, receiving around 55.5 million cubic metres a year from the river, and believes that filling the dam will affect the water it requires for drinking, agriculture, and electricity.
After three-way talks between the African countries failed, they settled in the US with an external mediator.
In November, the US-brokered a meeting in Washington, setting 15 January as a deadline for resolving the dispute, which at one point looked set to break into a military conflict between Cairo and Addis Ababa. They agreed on four rounds of negotiations. The first was held in the Ethiopian capital, the second in Cairo and the third in Khartoum.
Despite discussions looking promising, over Christmas, they stalled again following the third round in the Sudanese capital.