Countries fail to agree deal on Nile Dam

The Grand Renaissance Dam undergoing construction work on the Nile River in Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia last year

KHARTOUM – Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia Friday concluded a new round of talks without reaching consensus on a draft deal to be presented to the African Union (AU) regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Xinhua news agency reported.

“The three countries agreed to conclude the current round of talks without consensus on the draft integrated deal which was supposed to be submitted to the AU on Friday,” Sudan’s Irrigation and Water Resources Ministry said in a statement.

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“Continuation of the talks in their current form will not lead to achieving practical results,” Yasir Abbas, Sudanese irrigation and water resources minister, was quoted in the statement as saying.

The Sudanese minister further pointed out that reaching a deal needs a political will.

According to the statement, the Sudanese delegation stressed that dialogue is the only way to reach a deal, saying that Sudan is ready to resume the negotiations any time after communication with the AU.

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been negotiating under the AU over technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD.

Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity from the project to push the country’s development forward.

Meanwhile, Egypt and Sudan, downstream Nile Basin countries that rely on the river for its fresh water, are concerned that the dam might affect their water resources.

— BERNAMA