Egypt has rejected a draft document proposed by African Union appointed experts on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
“Egypt’s rejection stems from the denial of future water infrastructure projects on Nile tributaries, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy said in a statement on Sunday shortly after a trilateral negotiation.
The meeting, called by South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and the current chair of AU Bureau, was attended by Foreign and Water Affairs Ministers of Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt, according to a prior statement issued by the Ministry.
The statement said Ethiopia is committed to reaching a common agreement on the filling and operation of the dam. Observes and other AU assigned experts attended the negotiation, the Ministry added.
The three countries have agreed to continue their negotiation on the Nile among their water experts under the guidance of their water ministers.
The latest negotiation came after Ethiopia accused Sudanese army of encroaching its territory and taking control of the agricultural land of Ethiopian farmers.
“If Sudan does not stop expanding into Ethiopian territories, Ethiopia will be forced to launch a counter-offensive,” Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ambassador Dina Mufti was quoted as saying.
A senior Sudanese military officer on Monday said they have retaken control of an area in the al-Fashqa border region with Ethiopia.
Dina said Sudan should not take Ethiopia’s silence for weakness.
“Our forces are in stand-by 24/7 and are prepared to defend national sovereignty,” he added.
Without naming a country, Dina blamed a third party for pushing Sudan to encroach the Ethiopian territory.
However, Ethiopian opposition political parties accused Egypt of actively and clandestinely working to trigger an armed confrontation between Sudan and Ethiopia.