Sudan Hopes for Early Agreement With Ethiopia on Blue Nile Dam

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A general view of the Blue Nile river as it passes through 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. (AFP)
A general view of the Blue Nile river as it passes through 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. (AFP)

Sudan hopes to reach a legally binding agreement with Ethiopia on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as soon as possible, Sudanese Minister of Energy and Oil, Gadein Ali Obeid, told Sputnik on Monday.

Sudan hopes that a new round of African Union-mediated negotiation will resume soon among Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt with the outlook to “reach a legal and binding agreement within a reasonable time frame,” as recommended by the UN Security Council in September, the minister said.

“Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam project is considered to be one of the most important regional projects to be built on the Blue Nile River for the production and export of electricity to Sudan and Egypt. However, the project is yet to receive a legally binding agreement among the three countries, which would have covered the aspects of the reservoir’s filling and its operation. This is happening because of Ethiopia’s intransigence notwithstanding almost a decade of negotiations,” the minister added.

Ethiopia has been building what will become Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant since 2011. The neighboring Sudan and Egypt have opposed the project fearing it will infringe on their own water security. Years-long negotiations reached an impasse last year when Ethiopia began unilaterally filling the dam.

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