Sudan on Monday expressed readiness to accept an interim agreement to partially fill the Renaissance Dam prior to its operation on the condition that a deal is signed regarding all other points which have been agreed to date and ensuring the continuity of negotiations within a set time limit.
In a press conference held by Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Yasser Abbas, said: “Sudan accepts a partial interim agreement to fill the Renaissance Dam before operating it, under three conditions, including signing all previously agreed upon points, ensuring continuity of negotiations and negotiating within a time framework.”
He went on to add: “We have prepared our legal procedures regarding the Renaissance Dam and we are waiting for the right moment to take legal action against Ethiopia.”
Earlier, Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Aty said that Ethiopia had spoiled Sudan’s drinking stations by releasing quantities of muddy water.
Abdel-Aty explained: “The Ethiopian side released quantities of muddy water last November, without informing the downstream countries, which caused an increase in turbidity in drinking water stations in Sudan.”
He continued: “Ethiopia’s implementation of the first filling of the Renaissance Dam without coordination with the two downstream countries caused Sudan to suffer a severe state of drought, followed by massive floods.”
The Egyptian minister added that his country and Sudan “will not accept any unilateral step to fill and operate the Ethiopian dam.”
Egypt, Sudan making moves
The Council of the League of Arab States held an extraordinary meeting in Qatar today to discuss developments in the issue of the Blue Nile’s Renaissance Dam at the request of Egypt and Sudan.
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.
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.