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Ethiopia dam threatens safety of half of Sudan's population

Sudanese Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasser Abbas speaks during a press conference on December 02, 2020, Khartoum, Sudan [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency]
Sudanese Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasser Abbas speaks during a press conference on December 02, 2020, Khartoum, Sudan [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency]

The Sudanese authorities said yesterday that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam threatens the safety of half of the Sudanese population, news agencies reported.

Speaking to the media, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasser Abbas stressed a political will is needed to reach a solution for the dispute over the dam.

The Sudanese minister said that Ethiopia does not want an agreement in relation to the dam, but only guidelines.

Abbas reiterated Sudan's previous stance that it seeks an agreement to facilitate data exchange on the dam, noting that Nile water levels declined after the dam's reservoir was first filled.

He stressed the decline of water level of the Nile threatens the safety of about half of Sudan's population that live on the banks of the Blue Nile.

He said that his country wants an agreement to facilitate data exchange to ensure the dam's safe operation, stressing that data exchange is a right of the countries sharing the Nile.

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 and Sudan believe it will restrict their access to Nile waters.

There is also an unresolved issue over how fast the dam's reservoir will be filled, further reducing downstream countries' access to Nile waters and reducing energy production by their dams.

READ: Egypt considers alternatives as Renaissance Dam second filling looms

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AfricaEgyptEthiopiaNewsSudan
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