WORLD / AFRICA
Sisi says Egypt, Sudan reject Ethiopia’s Nile dam
Published: Mar 07, 2021 05:03 PM
The water level of the Nile near the confluence of its two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, starts to gradually decline after unprecedented floods in Khartoum, Sudan, Sept. 11, 2020. Sudan often witnesses floods caused by heavy rains from June to October. (Photo by Mohamed Khidir/Xinhua)

The water level of the Nile near the confluence of its two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, starts to gradually decline after unprecedented floods in Khartoum, Sudan, Sept. 11, 2020. Sudan often witnesses floods caused by heavy rains from June to October. (Photo by Mohamed Khidir/Xinhua)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned Saturday against Ethiopia continuing to fill its Nile dam, on his first visit to Sudan since the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir nearly two years ago.

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been locked for almost a decade in inconclusive talks over the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile, which broke ground in 2011. 

Egypt sees the structure a threat to its water supply, while Sudan fears its own dams will be harmed if Ethiopia proceeds with filling the GERD before a deal is reached.

"We reject the policy of imposing a fait accompli and extending control over the Blue Nile through unilateral measures without taking Sudan's and Egypt's interests into account," Sisi said Saturday.

Addis Ababa, which said it reached its first-year filling target in 2020, has declared plans to go ahead with the second phase of filling regardless of whether an agreement is in place. 

Egypt and Sudan "have agreed to relaunch negotiations with quadripartite mediation that includes the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and the US... to reach a deal before the flood season," Sisi added.

The visit to Khartoum, Sisi's first since Islamist Bashir's ouster in April 2019, comes amid efforts to bolster Sudanese-Egyptian ties and amid tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia over a disputed border region. 

In a statement released after the meetings, the Egyptian presidency hinted at Cairo's support for Khartoum in its border dispute with Addis Ababa. 

AFP
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