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Sudan: Positive response to quadripartite mediation on Renaissance Dam file

Workey Tadele, a radio operator, at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia, on December 26, 2019. - The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a 145-metre-high, 1.8-kilometre-long concrete colossus is set to become the largest hydropower plant in Africa. Across Ethiopia, poor farmers and rich businessmen alike eagerly await the more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity officials say it will ultimately provide. Yet as thousands of workers toil day and night to finish the project, Ethiopian negotiators remain locked in talks over how the dam will affect downstream neighbours, principally Egyp [EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images]
Workey Tadele, a radio operator, at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia, on December 26, 2019. - The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a 145-metre-high, 1.8-kilometre-long concrete colossus is set to become the largest hydropower plant in Africa. Across Ethiopia, poor farmers and rich businessmen alike eagerly await the more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity officials say it will ultimately provide. Yet as thousands of workers toil day and night to finish the project, Ethiopian negotiators remain locked in talks over how the dam will affect downstream neighbours, principally Egyp [EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images]

Sudan announced on Thursday that it had received positive responses to form a quadripartite mechanism to mediate the negotiations of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

This came in a statement issued by Head of the technical negotiating team on the Renaissance Dam Mustafa Hussein, reported Sudan News Agency (SUNA).

Hussein confirmed that Sudan: "Received very positive responses from all parties that were invited to take part in the quadripartite mediation on the Renaissance Dam, namely the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the US, in addition to the African Union (AU), which sponsors the negotiations."

He continued: "The international parties expressed their readiness to play the role of facilitators and mediate the negotiations, while offering their technical, legal and political expertise to bridge the rift between the three countries."

The Sudanese official pointed out: "The quadripartite mediation will enhance and support the efforts of the AU headed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to reach a binding and agreeable legal agreement for the three parties on filling and operating the Grand Renaissance Dam."

He indicated that the insistence of the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity: "On proceeding with the second filling of the dam next July, without reaching an agreement, means that Ethiopia does not intend to change its stance, which constitutes a violation of international law."

The chief negotiator considered that this: "Contradicts the Declaration of Principles signed by heads of the three states in March 2015 regarding filling and operating the Renaissance Dam."

Hussein called on Ethiopia to: "Cultivate a good sense of logic, adhere to the international laws that respect the transboundary waters, and abide by the principle of fair and reasonable use of water, without causing significant harm to the riparian countries."

He continued: "We affirm that Sudan is capable, in all cases, of protecting its national security, resources and the integrity of its infrastructure."

On Monday, Sudan announced sending official letters to the AU, the UN, the EU and the US to participate in a quadripartite mechanism to mediate in the negotiations.

On 9 March, Ethiopia rejected a Sudanese proposal, supported by Egypt, to form a quadripartite international mediation to reach a breakthrough in the dam negotiations.

Ethiopia insists on starting the second filling of the dam even if it does not reach an agreement, while Egypt and Sudan insist on signing a tripartite agreement first, in order to secure their annual share of Nile water and protect their water facilities from potential damage.

The negotiations sponsored by the AU have been stalled since last January due to Khartoum's demands to change the negotiation methodology and Ethiopia's rejection of this step.

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