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Sudanese official warns of 'water war'

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

A water war is about to take place if the international community does not intervene, the senior advisor to the chairman of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council warned yesterday. This was a reference to the ongoing dispute between Khartoum, Cairo and Addis Ababa over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Al-Taher Abu Haga said in a statement that the deprivation of water is the strongest reason for creating hostility. Ethiopian "intransigence" will drag the region into "unfortunate consequences," he added.

However, Ethiopia's Minister of Water and Irrigation, Seleshi Bakli, called recently on both Sudan and Egypt to nominate their operators in order to exchange data before the start of the second filling of the GERD reservoir. "Nominating operators soon will expedite appropriate information exchange arrangements and confidence-building measures until the conclusion of the GERD negotiation under the auspices of the African Union," he said.

OPINION: Ethiopia must take account of the rights to Nile water of countries downstream

Bakli added his country's keenness to host the first meeting of the dam's coordinators and operators in Addis Ababa "soon".

Last week, the three countries held AU-sponsored talks to revive the negotiations which have been stalled since January. The talks are reported to have failed again.

In addition to the AU facilitation, Sudan and Egypt have proposed including the European Union, the United States, and the UN as mediators, but this has been rejected by Ethiopia.

Ethiopia renews commitment to AU mediation in dam talks - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Ethiopia renews commitment to AU mediation in dam talks – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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AfricaAfrican UnionEgyptEthiopiaInternational OrganisationsNewsSudan
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