Africa News Bulletin

Sudan renews calls for binding agreement on GERD

Sudan renewed calls for a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GRED) to ensure its benefit for the whole region.

Sudan’s negotiations team on the GERD issued a statement on Monday two days after the inauguration of power generation from the GERD by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Sunday.

“Sudan affirms its firm position in the dossier of GERD, which is the need to reach a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam,” reads a statement released on Monday.

The statement stressed that Sudan’s position is based on the reference of the international law and the Declaration of Principles signed by the three countries in March 2015.

During the past two years, Sudan insisted on the need for a deal on the filing and operation to protect its dams that are located not far from the GERDon the Blue Nile.

Ethiopia had proposed a bilateral agreement as the issue is about technical coordination between the two sides but Khartoum said it should be part of a comprehensive pact settling Egypt’s concern about water shares.

The statement referred to a tweet by Prime Minister Ahmed last January saying that the GERD is a good example of cooperation for the benefit of all the peoples of the riparian countries and called to take concrete steps to make it a reality.

The negotiating team further stressed that starting the operation of electricity generation turbines is incompatible with the spirit of cooperation and constitute a fundamental breach of legal obligations.

“Ethiopia, thus contradicts what was agreed upon between the three countries in the Declaration of Principles”.

The statement underscored the need for agreement taking into account the interests of the three parties and called on the new chairperson of the African Union to strengthen the role of the regional organisation in the resolution of the dispute.

Ethiopia needs to continue the filling of the reservoir of the hydropower dam for several years before reaching its full capacity.

Original story on Sudan Tribune

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