Sudan: Committed to constructive negotiations over Ethiopian dam

Sudan’s Minister of Irrigation, Daw al-Bait Mansur, stated on Saturday that Sudan is “committed to constructive negotiations to reach an agreement on the Renaissance Dam crisis that takes into account the interests and concerns of the three parties (Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia).”

He made this statement during the second round of the new trilateral negotiations on the dam, which started on Saturday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Minister Mansur emphasized Sudan’s commitment to negotiations despite the “difficult circumstances that Sudan is going through in this critical period,” referring to the ongoing conflict between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since mid-April 2023.

He stressed “the need to bridge differences and reach consensus solutions without taking rigid positions.”

This round of negotiations will continue until Sunday, with the parties collecting notes on the remaining items of the agreement. It follows a new round of negotiations in Cairo on August 27th and 28th, less than a month ago.

On September 10th, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the fourth filling of the dam, which Egypt considered a “new violation” by Ethiopia, putting additional pressure on the ongoing negotiations.

While Egypt criticized Ethiopia’s move, Sudan remained silent on the fourth filing due to its involvement in continuous fighting between the Sudanese army and the RSF since mid-April.

These new dam negotiations come after more than two years of suspension, specifically since April 2021, following the failure of the African Union’s initiative to bridge the differences between the three countries.

Cairo and Khartoum insist on reaching a binding agreement with Addis Ababa regarding the filling and operation of the dam to ensure the continuous flow of their Nile water shares.

Ethiopia, on the other hand, rejects any harm to the downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, and insists that it does not target them.

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