A former member of Sudan's negotiating team which worked with Ethiopia on issues relating to the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the River Nile, has raised eyebrows by claiming that Sudan owns the land on which the dam is built.
Dr Ahmed Al-Mufti told the Saudi-owned Alarabiya satellite channel on Saturday night that his country granted the land to Ethiopia in 1902 on the condition that Addis Ababa would not establish any water infrastructure without Khartoum's approval. In his interview on the programme Al Boud Al Akhar (The Other Dimension), Al-Mufti added that Sudan could ask for the land to be returned to Sudanese sovereignty.
He called on the UN Security Council to intervene to stop Ethiopia from filling the second reservoir of the dam in July. The former negotiator also warned that more than 20 million Sudanese people are in danger as a result of the GERD.
Ethiopia lies upstream of Sudan on the Nile. It claims that the GERD is important for the country's development but the river's two downstream countries, Sudan and Egypt, argue that it poses a major threat because it will reduce their historical quotas of water from the river upon which both rely so much.