Sudan announced its reservation to attend the virtual talks which was supposed to be held over the weekend on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)being built on the River Nile, according to the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy in Addis Ababa.
The Ministry Sunday in a statement said Sudan had submitted a request requiring the three countries to hold a meeting with the AU experts and monitors, rejecting the trilateral talks with Ethiopia and Egypt.
Ethiopia and Egypt had accepted the bilateral talks with the AU experts and monitors as per the request of Sudan.
However, Sudan on Sunday came up with different idea and announced its decision that it will not hold bilateral talks unless powers of the AU experts and monitors are clearly defined and jointly prepared by the three countries.
Sudan’s Water Resources and Irrigation Ministry early last week in a statement said Sudan claimed the negotiations should be held with African Union mediation.
Accordingly, the virtually talks which was supposed to be held on Sunday between representatives from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to resolve disputes over the filling and operation of GERD did not take place.
GERD, a 145-metre tall hydroelectric dam, whose construction is 75 percent complete, has been the source of severe tensions between the three countries.
Previous failed talks have only increased tensions. As Ethiopia continues construction of the national strategic project, the question is “when” and not “if” GERD will begin operation. In light of this, expect Khartoum to side with Addis Ababa during these talks in order to guarantee favorable terms on its own water sourcing.
Once finished, the GERD will give Addis Ababa significant geopolitical control over these downstream nations, boosting its credentials as an influential regional power.