Sudan, Egypt reject unilateral filling of Nile dam


Sudan and Egypt have reiterated rejection to unilateral filling of the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile River.

The two countries held closed-door talks here on Wednesday to review the latest developments regarding the GERD with the participation of their Foreign and Irrigation Ministers, reports Xinhua news agency.

At the conclusion of the talks, the two sides issued a joint communique in which they stressed on the risks of the unilateral filling of the GERD.

They stressed the importance of coordination at the regional and international levels to push Ethiopia to negotiate seriously and with political will to reach a satisfactory and binding deal, according to the communique.

The two sides saw that the talks under the African Union have failed to reach an agreement because of the “Ethiopian obstinacy”.

They urged the international community to intervene to stop Ethiopia’s “unilateral will”.

They further expressed concern over the possible impact of unilateral filling of the GERD without reaching a legal deal to organise the work of the dam.

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been in talks for years over the technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD.

Sudan proposed a mediation quartet of the UN, the European Union, the US and the African Union regarding the GERD issue.

Ethiopia, however, has announced its rejection to this formula.

In February, Ethiopia said it would carry on with the second-phase 13.5-billion-cubic-metre filling of the GERD in June.

The volume of the first-phase filling last year was 4.9 billion cubic metres.

Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity from the dam project.

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