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Sudan harmed most by Ethiopia Nile dam conflict

December 10, 2020 at 3:52 pm

A general view of the Nile river as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on 26 December 2019 [EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP/Getty Images]

Sudan is the country most harmed from the controversial Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam, according to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a meeting between the officials from the foreign ministry, the ministries of irrigation, culture and information, and a number of Western ambassadors in Khartoum, Undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Sherif Abdallah stressed the importance of continuing with negotiations as the only means to resolving the disagreements between the parties involved in the issue.

He added that Khartoum will continue with its efforts to explain its stance and the dangers that Sudan and its people and strategic installations are being subjected to.

Abdallah reiterated his country’s commitment to the African Union’s mediation efforts, and its hopes that such efforts result in an agreement that all parties commit to.

READ: Sudan refuses to internationalise Renaissance Dam crisis

Ethiopia is building a $5 billion dam near the border with Sudan it says will provide the country with much-needed electricity and economic regeneration. Egypt believes it will restrict its access to Nile waters.

Never-ending fight between Egypt/Ethiopia and Sudan over the Renaissance Dam - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Never-ending fight between Egypt/Ethiopia and Sudan over the Renaissance Dam – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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 needs for drinking, agriculture and electricity.

Cairo wants Ethiopia to guarantee Egypt will receive 40 billion cubic metres or more of water from the Nile. Ethiopian Irrigation Minister Seleshi Bekele said Egypt has abandoned this demand, but Egypt insists it hasn’t and issued a statement to this effect.

There is also an unresolved issue over how fast the dam will be filled, with Egypt fearing if it is filled too quickly, it could affect the electricity generated by the Aswan High Dam.